QPR caretaker Mark Bowen defends Mark Hughes' record in transfer market

Bowen said that the club's players "went missing" in their 3-1 defeat at home to Southampton

The Queen's Park Rangers caretaker manager Mark Bowen has insisted that the squad Mark Hughes and he inherited from Neil Warnock was so unsuited to life in the Premier League that there was no choice but to release 14 players and rebuild.

"Maybe it's a lesson for people that you can't bring in 12 new players," Bowen said. "But the fact is this football club had to do it. Had to do it.

"I keep saying whether it was 13, 14 or more players we let go from this club last season there's not one of them went to a Premier League club or any club of significance with the exception of Joey [Barton] maybe, so we had to do it – try and bring in quality. What's caught us out is those [new] quality players getting used to the Premier League."

Bowen said that the club's players "went missing" in their 3-1 defeat at home to Southampton that brought down the curtain on Hughes's regime. And he also insisted that Hughes's managerial career was not over.

"In 10 years [we've] never been relegated, been outside the top 10 of the Premier League twice – so why shouldn't he carry on?" Bowen said. "Basically, last May Mark Hughes was a hero because he saved this club which, believe me, we think – I think – would have gone down."

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