QPR sack Mark Hughes on eve of Manchester United game
QPR have sacked manager Mark Hughes after he failed to guide them to victory in their first 12 Premier League games, leaving them rock bottom.
Mark Bowen and Eddie Niedzwiecki will take charge of the R’s trip to Manchester United.
Despite votes of confidence to the contrary, there had been mounting speculation that Hughes was coming under increasing pressure from owner Tony Fernandes and the QPR board, especially following last weekend’s 3-1 home defeat to fellow strugglers Southampton.
The club refuted suggestions the Welshman had refused to budge after being asked to resign in a meeting at the club’s training ground on Monday evening.
But now they have issued a statement confirming the 49-year-old, who took over at Loftus Road in January, has had his contract terminated.
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The club statement read: “Queens Park Rangers Football Club has today (Friday) terminated the contract of manager Mark Hughes with immediate effect.
“This decision has been taken after careful consideration by the Board of Directors, following numerous meetings over the last few days.
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“The Board of Directors wish to thank Mark for his commitment, hard work and dedication in his ten months in charge.
“Mark has shown integrity and professionalism throughout his time here, but ultimately the circumstances we find ourselves in have left the Board of Directors with very little choice but to make a change.
“The Board will now be working actively to put a new managerial structure in place as soon as possible.
“Mark Bowen and Eddie Niedzwiecki will take charge of the R’s trip to Manchester United in the Barclays Premier League on Saturday afternoon.
“The club will be making a further announcement in due course.”
Fernandes, who backed Hughes significantly in the transfer market over the summer, had continually taken to Twitter following recent bad results to voice his support for the manager.
But the derision among the crowd at Loftus Road during the 3-1 loss to Southampton suggested Hughes had lost the backing of the majority of Rangers’ fans.
Crisis talks were held at the club’s Harlington training base on Monday evening but Hughes continued as manager, preparing his side for the tough test at Old Trafford this weekend.
But the decision was taken by the board to end Hughes’ tenure as boss with the board aware that any increase in the five-point gap between QPR and Reading in 17th would make it harder to find a new boss to take charge.
Redknapp was this week linked with the vacant manager’s job with the Ukrainian national team and is believed to be interested in talking to the country’s football association.
That speculation could also have forced Fernandes’ hand if he does indeed view the 65-year-old as the solution to QPR’s situation.
The club’s chief executive Philip Beard was seen talking to the players during today’s training session following Hughes’ departure.
Former Manchester City boss Hughes oversaw 34 matches as manager at Loftus Road, winning just eight of those fixtures.
He managed to keep the club in the Premier League last season despite a 3-2 defeat at City on the closing day of the campaign, picking up memorable victories over Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham along the way.
Marquee signings such as Park Ji-sung, Junior Hoilett, Julio Cesar, Jose Bosingwa and Esteban Granero were brought in before the transfer window closed but Hughes could not bring the best out of his expensive talent.