Two points from his side’s first seven games of the Premier League season and there are already doubts about just how much longer Mark Hughes will remain as QPR manager.
The former Manchester United veteran has had a difficult time since moving to Loftus Road in January of this year and doesn’t seem likely to get a reprieve anytime soon.
However, it’s all too easy for a side to just give up these days, and Hughes deserves more of a shot before Tony Fernandes decides to call it a day with his current manager.
Hughes at Manchester City
It’s fair to say that Mark Hughes was well-travelled as a player, going from Old Trafford to the Camp Nou and back again, but he isn’t far off that status as a manager either.
The Welshman began his managerial career in peculiar fashion, taking over the position of his national side and has since gone on to manage numerous Premier League sides.
Most notably, Hughes’ work with Blackburn Rovers was to be admired, taking the club from relegation candidates to a team that started challenging the top six, and his absence is perhaps still felt to this day.
Since then, the 48-year-old has been through stints with Manchester City, Fulham and QPR, and while they haven’t all been as successful as his time at Ewood Park, Hughes has certainly been around the proverbial block.
One doesn’t accumulate that kind of experience without picking up a few tips along the way, and while that influence may not be as evident at the moment, Hughes is undoubtedly a seasoned figure to have at your helm.
The QPR manager’s role is a hot-seat that a lot of managers wouldn’t touch with a barge pole at the moment, making it an incredibly tough job.
The club’s boardroom, headed by Tony Fernandes, seems adamant on building a slightly star-studded squad that’s capable of challenging for trophies, but that transformation doesn’t happen overnight.
The Rs roster has been completely overturned in the last two years, and any manager would have a difficult time shaping that into a gelled outfit.
If a new face were to come in as manager, who’s to say that they wouldn’t fare even worse than the current boss, who has at least had nine months to get to grips with this mish-mash outfit?
Regardless of the poor points tally that Queens Park Rangers have taken from their first seven league matches, it’s well worth noting that the club have had a very tough run of fixtures in these opening exchanges of the season.
The campaign began in miserable fashion and just as Bolton did last season, Swansea City embarrassed the Rs in front of their own fans, with matches against Manchester City, Tottenham, Chelsea and West Ham all following soon after.
A point against Chelsea was encouraging for the west London outfit, while another at Carrow Road contributes to the other half of QPR’s points total.
Things don’t get much easier with Everton and Arsenal on the agenda in the coming weeks, but it’s easy to forget that QPR are yet to face a promoted side and have many easier fixtures left on the calendar.
In short, bad luck would dictate that Hughes’ season has been an incredibly difficult one thus far, and there’s perhaps not many others out there that would have taken too many more points away.
Following the loss against West Brom, BBC Sport reported QPR owner, Tony Fernandes, as saying that Mark Hughes was indeed the man to lead the club, dissuading any rumours of his dismissal.
Football in the modern era is looked upon as a business, and rightly so, meaning that hiring and firing is as much a part of the trade as in any other environment.
It’s arguable that nobody is in a more hazardous position than the manager, and for Fernandes to give his manager a vote of confidence such as this speaks volumes.
Since taking over the club, the Malaysian businessman has already got rid of one manager after ejecting Neil Warnock prior to Hughes’ arrival.
If Fernandes is not yet worried by the Rs’ current predicament, it makes the job that much easier for Hughes, and not until his owner is panicking more should the Welshman then begin to worry.
Just as he did in his playing career, Mark Hughes has adopted a no-nonsense approach as a manager, becoming known for his aggressive approach at times.
For a squad that is bound to recruit some big egos with the money that it spends, QPR is in need of a stern voice and one that will refuse to entertain insubordination within its ranks.
At Manchester City, Hughes was in a similar position to that which he finds himself in at Loftus Road and he actually did well to quell the onslaught of personalities then at the club.
The task is much the same with Queens Park Rangers and Mark Hughes’ man-management talents will be vital if the club are to bond as a unit in time to salvage their season.