Poor results after heavy investment usually ends in the manager being fired, but Queens Park Rangers manager Mark Hughes is set to be given more time to improve the fortunes of the Premier League’s bottom club.
Hughes met with QPR chief executive Philip Beard for two hours on Monday after missing training, the BBC and Sky Sports reported, although the club, who have yet to win in 12 matches this season, said it was business as usual at Loftus Road.
Heavy speculation surfaced on Monday that Hughes was to be fired after their 3-1 home loss to Southampton on Saturday, which left some sections of the fans chanting: “Hughes out,” only for an official to deny the claim.
“Rumors suggesting Mark Hughes has been sacked as QPR manager tonight are NOT true,” QPR’s head of media Ian Taylor said on his Twitter account.
The home reverse to the side one-place above them in the standings, and who have shipped more goals than anyone else in the Premier League, was the eighth defeat in 12 games for QPR.
A slow start to the campaign was envisaged after a raft of new signings were brought in to help the west London club avoid the drama of the final day of last season, when they narrowly escaped relegation.
However, despite some more promising displays against Arsenal and Chelsea, they are still without a win three months in.
QPR’s owner, Malaysian airline tycoon Tony Fernandes, continued to back his manager on Twitter each week as the opening day 5-0 home defeat by Swansea City was followed by further losses to West Ham United and West Bromwich Albion.
They looked to have turned the corner in an unlucky 1-0 away defeat by Stoke City in their previous outing, before the flat response against Southampton in a match they had been tipped to win.
Worryingly for fans, Hughes said he had no idea as to why his side had performed so poorly in their match against the Saints, which had been billed as a must-win for the former Manchester City and Fulham boss.
“That is the enigma really, because certainly last week, we really performed well, got on the ball and passed and showed good intensity to our play and competed, and on another day could have fairly easily won that game,” Hughes said.