QPR fade away to bottom yet again


Manchester Utd 3 QPR 1Just past the hour Queens Park Rangers were threatening to register this season’s most surprising win, the troubled club closing in on three points at their 13th attempt.

Then, in front of the watching Harry Redknapp, Jonny Evans answered Jamie Mackie’s opener and strikes from Darren Fletcher and Javier Hernandez continued QPR’s dire season and kept them rooted to the bottom on four points.

Mark Bowen, the trusted assistant of the sacked Mark Hughes, was in charge as Redknapp prepared to take over yesterday morning. Bowen coaxed a hard-working, steely effort from a team who have serially disappointed, until Anton Ferdinand’s 61st-minute introduction for Armand Traore precipitated United’s opening two goals. For each of these the defender failed to make a challenge, to illustrate the lack of depth and quality that is the indictment of Hughes’s recruitment policy.

“He’s being philosophical, he’s obviously disappointed,” said Bowen of Hughes’ removal on Friday. “As Sir Alex [Ferguson] touched on, it’s maybe a lesson for people you can’t bring in 10, 12 players [in one summer]. But the fact is this football club had to do it. I keep saying whether it was 13, 14 players let go last season, there’s not one of them who went to a Premier League club or any club of significance, with the exception of Joey Barton.

“So we had to do it – try to bring in quality. We have. We know we’ve brought quality in, but what’s caught us out is those quality players getting used to the demands and everything that’s expected in Premier League games.”


If this comment damns Hughes’s buys by suggesting they lack the one prerequisite for survival, experience of the division, Bowen denied there had been a dilution of camaraderie.

“Believe me, it’s no different to any other club I’ve been at. There’s players there, there’s qualities in them that can move this club forward, make it better. It doesn’t seem like it now, because it’s bottom of the league, but what had to be done had to be done.”

Had Hughes seen his sacking coming on the eve of the trip to Old Trafford? “Well, I think it was a shock on Friday morning,” Bowen said. “But what’s gone on with the results over the past few weeks, especially the big games – Reading [drawn] and the Southampton game [lost] – I daresay for Mark that you’re hoping for the time to change it. But it caught up with us.”

Bowen is clear Hughes wants to return to management. He said: “Absolutely. We’ve been doing this job for 10 years and never been relegated, we’ve been outside the top 10 of the Premier League twice. So why shouldn’t he carry on?

“Basically last May, Mark Hughes was a hero because he saved this club. And the owners played a big part in it as well with the backing of Mark – no doubt about that.

“You go from being a hero and 10, 11 games later, people are saying: ‘Well, is it the end of your career?’ Come on guys. The fella’s a top manager and top coach.”

Guardian Service

Harry's game Redknapp targets Beckham

Harry Redknapp hopes to bring David Beckham to Queens Park Rangers with Tony Fernandes, the club’s chairman, prepared to back the new manager in the January transfer window.

Beckham is leaving Los Angeles Galaxy. The 37-year-old trained at Tottenham Hotspur in early 2011 when Redknapp was manager.

Redknapp told BBC 5 Live: “I’m sure he [Beckham] could still play in the Premier League. He is a top player and a fantastic person as well. I must admit we had him at Tottenham training and he was amazing around the place – absolute class. I’ve not discussed it with the chairman at the moment so we would have to look at that. David could still certainly play and still be a great asset to anybody.”

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