Hughes: Swansea & West Ham losses have cost us but we can beat Everton

QPR manager Mark Hughes believes that his side must defend better if they are to recover from their poor start.

The R’s have only two points from their first seven games and are currently bottom of the Premier League.

Despite the early woes, Hughes feels that they are only six points behind where he thought they would be at this stage in the season after seeing the fixture list in June.

“We’re probably two wins behind where we expected to win,” the Welshman explained.

“We haven’t won two home games [West Ham and Swansea] that we should have and that’s cost us.

“Once we get players back and settle the side then we can produce good football.

“It’s only a matter of time before we change around. Everton are a good team. If we can get our noses in front then we can take the game away from them.”

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Everton visit Loftus Road on Sunday and the traditionally slow starters sit in fourth on 14 points.

“They’ve had a really great start,” Hughes said. “In recent times they have been slow starters but not this year.

“They’re a good side. It doesn’t make any difference who you play.

“Defending has been our Achilles heel in recent times.

“I need to make sure the opposition don’t get any encouragement and we take the game away from them.”

“We’re not pointing fingers at the defence. It’s a collective thing.

“We have to deal with it on a one v one whether you are a centre half, midfielder or a front guy.

“It’s a collective thing but the focus will be on the defence.

“I have not been able to pick the same back four. The teams that have started well have had the benefit of that. We haven’t.

“That will resolve itself. We’re going through our bad patch. Other teams will throughout the season. Thankfully we will get this out of the way.”

Part of the defensive problems have been caused by injuries and Hughes has had to shuffle his pack on a regular basis and he hopes that he doesn’t have to chase the game against the Toffees.

“It wasn’t an excuse [to mention our defensive problems], Hughes added. “It was a reality in fairness. Once we get some positive results we will be off and running.

“We gave two soft goals away from West Brom. It’s got to stop as we can’t dictate the game. We’re throwing on attacking players to change the game.”