QPR star: new manager has already made such an impact

Goal-scorer Gabbidon believes Mark Hughes can solve the team’s confidence crisis

Danny Gabbidon admits that Mark Hughes is pulling no punches on the training ground as he attempts to restore self-belief in his struggling players.

Gabbidon’s first QPR goal sealed an unconvincing 1-0 win over MK Dons in last night’s FA Cup third round replay, their first victory in any competition since mid-November and a result which the centre-back believes can kick-start their season.

Gabbidon, who previously worked under Hughes in the Wales international side, admitted that the Rs’ new manager is already stamping his authority on the side.

“He wants us to go out there and express ourselves, play a bit more, try to close the opposition down a bit more than we have been, and believe in ourselves,” said Gabbidon.

“We’re trying to take on board everything that he’s asking of us.

“At the moment we’ll take anything. We haven’t been playing that well, we’d forgotten what it was like to win. It was nice in a way not to play that well and win, because I think there have been a few days when we’ve played well and not quite got the result.

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“If we can start getting results and keeping clean sheets when we’re not playing well it will be good. This result gives us confidence for the weekend.

“He’s quite calm but obviously he has got that side of him where if things need to be said then he’ll say them. At the moment he’s trying to get us playing the way he wants. Hopefully we can start to improve under him.”

Gabbidon’s winner set up a mammoth fourth-round clash with Chelsea, with the Rs looking for a repeat of the 1-0 win they inflicted on their bitter rivals in October.

However, before that game Hughes’ side host Wigan Athletic in a game crucial to both sides’ Premier League survival, and Gabbidon insists the Cup must take a back seat.

“We’re not even thinking about Chelsea, we’ve got a massive game at the weekend and we need to start picking up points in the league.

“It’s nice to have a cup run and hopefully we can use this game as a confidence builder for the weekend. We haven’t been playing well, a lot of people might have seen this game as a distraction but for us it can kick-start something.”

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