When Queens Park Rangers and Southampton met at Loftus Road on Saturday, it was dubbed as El Sackio by the media with both managers under pressure after a poor run of form. If that is the case, QPR boss Mark Hughes should be on his way.
It was the Saints that picked up a fantastic 3-1 away win, leaving QPR as the only team not to win a Premier League game this season. After the money spent in the summer and the expectation around the place, it has been a horrific few weeks for Hughes and his team.
As is expected with a juicy compensation package waiting if he gets the sack, Hughes said after the game that he will not be quitting QPR. With a ‘Harry (Redknapp), come and save us’ banner being displayed at the game, this might not be a popular stance from the manager.
Hughes is remaining defiant though, saying: “I don’t run away from challenges and this is a huge challenge. It was a huge challenge when I came here and there weren’t many queuing up when I decided this was the right job for me.”
“The fans are well within their rights to criticise me, the staff who prepare the team and the team after that. It was unacceptable. We have to take it on the chin and ride with it, but I don’t run away from things and it is my intention to see it through.”
Losing at home to newly promoted Southampton was definitely a low point for the season, but it has been rather poor throughout. When the highlight is a victory over Walsall in the Capital One Cup, you know it’s been a tough run.
What is the board’s stance on Hughes though? He might not want to quit, but will they bow down to pressure from the fans and give the former Fulham manager his marching orders.
Well, owner Tony Fernandes tweeted: “I feel gutted. I have put my heart and soul into this with my other shareholders and done all we can to give support to players and all management.
“I can only apologise to the QPR fans. We keep fighting.”
This certainly doesn’t seem like a man ready to sack his manager, but a couple more negative results and he might not have a choice.
Next for bottom of the table QPR? Manchester United away.