EPL Season Preview: QPR Set for Success Under Mark Hughes

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistAugust 12, 2012

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 13:  Mark Hughes the manager of QPR looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Queens Park Rangers at the Etihad Stadium on May 13, 2012 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

We all remember the last time Queens Park Rangers took to the pitch for an English Premier League game.

QPR shocked the world for 90 minutes by leading Manchester City by a goal on the final day of the season.

Although they could not finish the job and gave up two late goals to the eventual champions, the R's were able to stay up for another season in the top flight.

Manager Mark Hughes has been able to do things his way for a whole offseason and is looking to guide QPR away from the relegation fight in his first full season in charge at Loftus Road.

Hughes has come across a bit of bad luck since his departure from Blackburn Rovers in 2008.

Spells at Manchester City and Fulham started off on the good foot, but conflict with owners of each club eventually ended in the sacking of the former Manchester United player.

The Welshman was brought to the club in January after the firing of Neil Warnock.  His remit to preserve the club's top flight status for another season.

Hughes brought in defender Nedum Onuoha as well as forwards Djibril Cisse and Bobby Zamora during the January transfer window and all of those players contributed to the club's success at the end of the season.

The transfer policy at Loftus Road is no different this summer as Hughes has brought in plenty of experienced players that will not only help the R's stay in the Premier League, but contend for a top 10 finish.

Park Ji-Sung (right) is the player that is most known out of the six new faces at the club.

Park was always one of Sir Alex Ferguson's go-to players in big games and he will now get to play on a permanent basis under Hughes at his new club.

The other new faces are as important as the Korean midfielder.

Robert Green moved to the club from West Ham and will be the first-choice keeper, replacing the departed Paddy Kenny who left for Leeds United.

In defense, former Blackburn captain Ryan Nelsen was snapped up and Fabio brought in on loan from Manchester United to sure up a back four that had leaked 66 goals last term.

In midfield, Samba Diakite joins the club on permanent basis from French club Nancy, having been on loan at Loftus Road for the last six months of the previous campaign.

Hughes' best piece of business this summer may be getting the signature of rising star Junior Hoilett from relegated Blackburn Rovers.

Also joining the strike force is Andy Johnson who reunites with Zamora and Hughes from their Fulham days.

One personnel issue that has yet to be fully solved is Joey Barton.

Barton is suspended for the first 12 games of the season because of his conduct in the final game of last season.

Right now, the club seems to be distancing themselves from the controversial midfielder as he was left out of the preseason tour of Malaysia.

With the Barton issue on the back burner for now, Hughes can focus on getting off to a good start with his club.

The first two matches of the season against Swansea and Norwich will be crucial for Hughes before the club faces three of the EPL's top clubs in September.

If the R's are able to start off with six points, they could very well take points from either Manchester City, Chelsea and Tottenham.

If Hughes is able to instill a winning mentality in his QPR team, then no opponent will be looked at as too tough to beat this season.


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