QPR boss: we must repeat Liverpool heroics against Arsenal
Hughes admits poor home form is to blame for Rangers’ relegation troubles
Mark Hughes is urging QPR to repeat the heroics which stunned Liverpool last week to pick up another precious win against Arsenal on Saturday.
Rangers picked up only their third home win of the season against the Reds, recovering from 2-0 down to score three times in the final 15 minutes.
However, a 3-1 defeat at Sunderland on Saturday plunged Hughes’s side back into the relegation zone, and they face the Gunners having taken just eight points from the last 10 matches.
Rangers also face Swansea City, Tottenham Hotspur and Stoke City at Loftus Road before the end of the season, and Hughes admits they cannot afford any more slip-ups.
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“Home form will always sustain you, and the fact that we haven’t got as many wins on the board at home as we would have liked has been a problem,” Hughes told London24.com. “That’s why we are where we are.
“But on the strength of the performance against Liverpool, I feel that in all the remaining home games we have we can be positive. We have difficult games, but we have the quality in the team that will allow us to win Premier League games.
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“We have to do what we did against Liverpool – there are no short-cuts.”
After a dreadful start to the season Arsenal make the short journey from north to west London as the Premier League’s form team, having won their last seven league matches.
Arsene Wenger’s side are locked in a battle with rivals Tottenham Hotspur for third place and automatic qualification for next season’s Champions League group stages.
Striker Robin van Persie is the Premier League’s leading scorer with 33 goals in all competitions, although Hughes believes it is the return of their two full-backs which has been key.
Bacary Sagna returned to the side last month following four months out with a broken leg he suffered against Spurs in October, while Kieran Gibbs also made his comeback to the starting line-up having missed much of the season with a succession of injuries.
“Arsenal are an outstanding team,” said Hughes. “You could always see in their play, when they were in their pomp winning trophies, they always had full-backs who were bombing on and joining in and having an effect on games high up the park.
“This year, perhaps because of injuries and players being unavailable they haven’t been able to get that dynamic playing in wider areas. Now they have Sagna back, and Gibbs seems to be over his injury problems, that makes a real difference to them.”
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