QPR boss hints at new contract for Hill
Hughes admits veteran defender has ‘done himself no harm’ in search for new deal
Clint Hill could be set for a QPR reprieve after manager Mark Hughes hinted he may hand the defender a new contract.
Hill, whose current deal expires during the summer, appeared set to leave Loftus Road after the arrivals of Taye Taiwo and Armand Traore pushed the 33-year-old down the pecking order.
The former Crystal Palace player (pictured) spent the first half of the season on loan at Nottingham Forest, before an injury to Luke Young forced Hughes to reshuffle his defence, partnering Hill with Anton Ferdinand at centre-back.
Hill has responded with a series of impressive performances, and his manager admitted a new deal for the veteran is not out of the question.
“Since Clint has come in he’s done really well so he’s done himself no harm whatsoever,” Hughes told London24.com.
“We wouldn’t discuss contracts until the summer, but I have been really pleased with him. I put him at centre-back and he’s been one of our more consistent performers.
- 1 QPR ground name to revert to Loftus Road for 2022-23
- 2 Cricklewood estate reports 'major vermin' problem
- 3 Trial date for men charged with fatal stabbing of Emmanuel Odunlami
- 4 'Strictest' headteacher to be documentary subject
- 5 'Extremely dangerous' men convicted after girl kidnapped and raped
- 6 VOTE: Which north London fish and chip shop is your favourite?
- 7 5 of the best things to do with kids in north London
- 8 Baby among three rescued from Willesden flat fire
- 9 Jailed: North London members of Essex drugs supply network
- 10 Jailed: 7 north London offenders put behind bars in April
“It has been difficult because there have been a lot of changes in the back four, we haven’t been able to pick a settled side.”
Hughes admitted that his inability to field a stable defence has hampered QPR’s season since he replaced Neil Warnock in January, with new signings and injuries making continuity virtually impossible.
“It has been difficult on occasions. We lost Luke Young to injury for a couple of games so we had to re-jig things,” added Hughes.
“Danny Gabbidon was out of the side, then we brought back Armand Traore from the Africa Cup of Nations. Taye Taiwo went away and came back so we had to look after him.
“There have been changes that we could not have foreseen. Most managers would tell you that a settled back four is a pre-requisite, but it’s something we haven’t been able to get.
“In the last couple of games we’ve tried to get a bit of continuity, but it has been difficult to get the same guys on the field of play.”
But Hughes insisted there is no room for excuses as the season enters its final weeks with Rangers locked in a dogfight at the foot of the Premier League table – and he demanded an improvement from his struggling side.
“We understand very clearly we are in a scrap and we need to start putting points on the board,” he said.
“There is no complacency; we are fully focused on what we must do.
“Everybody must step up, it’s important that we get big performances from everyone in the team. If we have that then we have a chance.
“We can’t afford having one, two, three or four players not playing at the level they need to be at. If they are [at the right level] then we’ll win games.”
Follow me on Twitter @QPRTimes