Mark Hughes once again insisted last night that he is the man to take Queen's Park Rangers away from the relegation zone as they reached 10 games without a victory in the Premier League, having failed to win again at home.
Being asked to affirm his suitability for the job is becoming something of a regular event for Hughes as QPR's season fails to come to life and yesterday's 1-1 draw with Reading, the only other side in the division not to have won, was another low. Asked whether he believed he was still the right man for the job, Hughes replied: "Yes I am. We're not sticking our head in the sand. We know exactly where we are and our intention is to get out of that. This was an opportunity to do that. We didn't take it. But we have one more point than we did before the game. We have to take that as a positive, even though it wasn't what we hoped it would be in terms of maximum points."
There was support for Hughes from Tony Fernandes in his matchday programme notes, with the QPR chairman complaining about "the media ... writing one negative headline after another about Mark's position. He is the best man for the job and he has the full backing of the board," Fernandes said. "Long-term stability is what we are all striving for at Loftus Road and Mark and his back-room staff are integral to what we are trying to achieve."
With his side booed off at half-time while trailing to a Kaspars Gorkss goal, Hughes said that they had improved in the second half. "The vast majority understood their team had not just tried to sit on a 1-1 draw, they were going for the three points and they appreciated that. We are working extremely hard on a daily basis to try to turn this around and we'll get there, we know that.
"We anticipated before the season started that we would have a really successful season. The longer this run goes on then that successful season we all anticipated is in danger. We could end up being in the situation we were in last year. Now we don't anticipate that will happen, but it is a possibility and we are all aware it could happen. We need a break."
Goalscorer Djibril Cissé agreed: "You see the quality we have in the team, we don't belong to the bottom. No disrespect to the other teams – we don't belong there but football is on the pitch, it is not by talking."