Mark Hughes: QPR need defenders to get fit

 

Queen's Park Rangers manager Mark Hughes may be high in the bookies' list to be the next Premier League manager to get sacked, but he believes his team's poor start to the season will end once his sick list gets shorter – especially as his defenders return to fitness.

The west London club have yet to win a league match this campaign, collecting just two points from a possible 15 heading into tonight's clash with West Ham.

The pressure is mounting on Hughes, who is the bookies' second favourite in the sack race behind the Southampton manager Nigel Adkins, but the Welshman shrugs it all off and insists the wins will come once he is able to call on a full complement of defenders again.

"I think for the most part our performances have been fine up to a point," said Hughes, who will have to do without the injured Anton Ferdinand, Jose Bosingwa, Fabio and Armand Traore tonight at Loftus Road.

"Obviously we need to see games out. We have selection problems at the moment in a key area of the field in defence. We have had too much of a turnover [with] selection and personnel changes, that doesn't lend to having continuity of performance.We've created some decent football in the initial period but it was always going to take time. Now it is difficult because we cannot get that continuity of selection, certainly in the defensive area."

Like Rangers, West Ham brought in recruits over the summer – it was the arrival of Andy Carroll and Matt Jarvis that helped convince Mark Noble to sign a new contract after he began to question the Hammers' ambition.

Last week the 25-year-old ended speculation about his future by penning a new three-year deal with the Hammers. Noble has spent a decade at Upton Park and throughout all that time, the club never spent £10m on a player, a fact Noble admits concerned him before the club-record £10.75m summer signing of Jarvis and the arrival on loan on Carroll, who could smash that if his move is made permanent.

Noble said: "Our record signing was only £9m so you have a look at stuff like that and think, 'Is that as big as it should be?' I always questioned that. But now we have signed Jarvis and brought in Andy Carroll ... to survive in the Premier League that is what you need to do."

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