QPR begin hunt for new manager

QPR have today begun the search for their seventh permanent boss in two and a half years after Paul Hart decided he had had enough less than a month into the job.

The former Portsmouth manager quit last night after just five games in charge, the 10th managerial change at Loftus Road since Flavio Briatore arrived at the club in September 2007.

Rangers have yet to explain why Hart, 56, who was given a contract to the end of the season, felt he could not even last until the end of winter.

But chairman Briatore yet again finds himself hunting for a manager to succeed where John Gregory, Luigi De Canio, Iain Dowie, Paulo Sousa, Jim Magilton and now Hart have failed.

Alan Curbishley and Steve Coppell are already being linked with the role, although the instability at the club will not sit well with either.

Hart's assistant Mick Harford takes charge for tomorrow's trip to a high-flying Blackpool side managed by none other than Ian Holloway, who was in charge of Rangers some four years and 12 bosses ago.

Harford himself is a previous casualty of Rangers' managerial graveyard when, as caretaker in 2007, he was overlooked for the permanent job in favour of little-known Italian De Canio.

The former Luton boss admitted he was shocked by Hart's walk-out, but has already thrown his hat into the ring for the role.

Harford told www.qpr.co.uk: "I got a phone call last night asking me to take charge.

"It's something I have had to prepare quickly for because the main focus right now is getting the players ready for Blackpool.

"It's a sad occasion with the manager leaving his post but that happens in football. I have been given what I consider an opportunity to stake my claim for the job."

Reports have suggested Hart had a bust-up with Rangers' on-loan Tottenham midfielder Adel Taarabt.

But Harford added: "I spoke with Paul last night as well as this morning. He enjoyed his brief time here and had a good rapport with the players and the staff."