Season preview: Queens Park Rangers
Queens Park Rangers’ return to the Premier-League didn’t quite go to plan, points wern’t easy to come across and as the club was purchased by Tony Fernandes, Neil Warnock was sacked and replaced by former Manchester City manager Mark Hughes. The aim was escape relegation, and they did that by the skin of their teeth, despite the worst efforts from former club captain Joey Barton.
Fernandes knew he had to supply Hughes with the funds to create a team capable of competing in the Premier-League, however despite bringing in several new faces, only £2 million has been spent so far.
Hughes has acquired some excellent players; the tenacious former Man United striker has used his contacts at Old Trafford well, by obtaining the signature of Park Ji-Sung and the loan of defender Fabio.
Andy Johnson, Robert Green and Ryan Nelsen have also joined the R’s alongside the impressive youngster, Junior Hoilett, whose form last season for Blackburn brought him admirers from the top four clubs.
Let’s get one thing clear, QPR have plenty of money to spend. In Mark Hughes they have an experienced manager, who is renowned for getting 100% from his teams.
More importantly than any new signings however, is the fact Joey Barton’s bad influence is working its way out of the club and a united side will be a lot stronger without him.
Is this enough to survive the drop this season?
Yes, but Hughes and his coaching methods have an impenetrable ceiling. He is from the old school and in my opinion, he needs to move with the times, adopting a more technical approach on the training ground.
I guess his work at Blackburn must have been the deal breaker when the mega wealthy owners appointed him. If given time, he does have the tools required to take QPR from the bottom of the league into lower mid-table security, NOT the top 8.
Hughes had a chance at Man City and failed miserably. However, there is undoubtedly less pressure on him at QPR, this alone will ultimately allow the aggressive Welshman to steer the R’s to premier league survival in the 2012/13 season. Prediction: 14th.
Matt O’Brien, football correspondent