Match report: Charlie Adam's first goal for Stoke leaves Queens Park Rangers manager Mark Hughes facing toughest week

Stoke 1 Queens Park Rangers 0

Britannia Stadium

If Mark Hughes did not have one match left to save his job ahead of Queens Park Rangers' last home fixture, it is difficult not to suspect he is in that position now.

Hughes survived last weekend's 1-1 draw against Reading despite his players being jeered off the field and even won a declaration of confidence from chairman Tony Fernandes, reiterated at lunchtime by chief executive Philip Beard.

But a seventh defeat for QPR under Hughes, for whom they have yet to register a win this season, leaves them bottom of the Premier League. The team they replaced, Southampton, are the visitors to Loftus Road next Saturday. Should the hosts fail to win that one, it would take a patient chairman to resist the obvious reaction.

The key problem for Hughes is that his luck is plainly out. Rangers were the better side yesterday but nothing they tried would come off.

Adel Taarabt posed problems for Stoke, as did Junior Hoilett and Esteban Granero in a fluid midfield, but when the chances came they were not taken, sometimes due to Asmir Begovic's heroics in the Stoke goal but on other occasions because they made poor decisions.

Nothing summed up their plight more tellingly than the chance Taarabt squandered just before half-time, at which point neither side had managed a shot on target and the match was finely balanced.

A mistake by Glenn Whelan, with a careless lateral pass, gave Rangers possession, and it was Hoilett who saw the opportunity, exchanging passes with Djibril Cissé and spotting Taarabt's run into clear space on the right. Hoilett's pass was weighted perfectly but Taarabt went for finesse instead of power as Begovic moved towards him and his attempt to chip the goalkeeper sailed over the bar. He held his head in his hands, with most of the visiting fans following suit.

"We've got to take those chances," Hughes said afterwards. "In fairness to Adel I have played him through the middle and I thought he was really effective. He understood what was required, got in between the lines and caused Stoke some real problems.

"But you know at those points in a game that if you don't take your chances you might concede going the other way and, in the event, we made one mistake at the back and got punished for it.

"It is disappointing because, like a number of games we have played in this season, we have been the better side and played some good football but the key is to win games and, to do that, you have to take your chances."

Indeed, more followed, after Stoke had gone ahead to register only their second Premier League win so far this season, with Begovic saving both a deflected shot by Taarabt and a powerful effort from Granero, set up by Taarabt.

Tony Pulis, Stoke's manager, endorsed Hughes's assessment, having been rewarded for a performance from his team that conspicuously lacked redeeming features but which nonetheless produced a goal.

"We have played better in all of our 10 previous games," Pulis conceded. "We have played games this season where we should never have lost and, if you speak to Mark, he will be disappointed that they have come away with nothing."

The goal, created by a Robert Huth free-kick from the left headed on to the far post by Jonathan Walters, was a moment for Charlie Adam to savour, ending a goal drought for the former Liverpool midfielder that had lasted more than a year.

"I'm pleased for Charlie," Pulis added. "We've moved him around a bit to try to get him positions to score and thank goodness today he has come up with the goods."

Stoke (4-4-1-1): Begovic; Cameron, Shawcross, Huth, Wilkinson; Walters, Whelan, Nzonzi, Etherington (Kightly, 70); Adam (Whitehead, 76); Crouch.

QPR (4-2-3-1): Julio Cesar; Bosingwa, Ferdinand, Nelsen, Traoré; Diakité, Faurlin (Zamora, 78); Granero, Taarabt, Hoilett; Cissé.

Referee: Martin Atkinson

Man of the match: Grenero (QPR)

Match rating: 5/10

Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
tv All of this year's 15 contestants have now been named
Arts and Entertainment
Inside the gallery at Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow
tvSimon Usborne goes behind-the-scenes to watch the latest series
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
newsThe industry's trade body issued the moratorium on Friday
News
Winchester College Football (universally known as Winkies) is designed to make athletic skill all but irrelevant
Life...arcane public school games explained
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Could we see Iain back in the Bake Off tent next week?
tv Contestant teased Newsnight viewers on potential reappearance
Life and Style
Silvia says of her famous creation: 'I never stopped wearing it. Because I like to wear things when they are off the radar'
fashionThe fashion house celebrated fifteen years of the punchy pouch with a weighty tome
News
i100(and it's got nothing to do with the Great British Bake Off)
News
Angelina Jolie with her father Jon Voight
peopleAsked whether he was upset not to be invited, he responded by saying he was busy with the Emmy Awards
News
Bill Kerr has died aged 92
peopleBill Kerr appeared in Hancock’s Half Hour and later worked alongside Spike Milligan and Peter Sellers
News
news It's not just the world that's a mess at the moment...
Sport
footballPremiership preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's matches
News
Keira Knightley poses topless for a special September The Photographer's issue of Interview Magazine, out now
people
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
News
i100
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in his Liverpool shirt for the first time
football
Life and Style
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone