Oct 5 2012 By Paul Warburton
QPR boss Mark Hughes reckons former Chelsea team-mate Steve Clarke could have ended up a number two all his life had he failed at West Brom.
The two were part of a Blues side back in the 90s at the same Harlington training ground now rented by Rangers.
Hughes (pic) was very much the star 17 years ago having been signed from Manchester United on the same day Ruud Gullit took over at Stamford Bridge. Clarke in contrast was very much the solid performer at the back.
Now, the club with the worst start in the Premier League goes to Clarke’s Albion tomorrow, who have made their best opening to a top-flight campaign.
For all that, Hughes is delighted for his old pal.
“Steve was very much seen as a number two,” he said, “and he had to make his mark quickly and take the chance to show he’s a top-class manager – and he’s done that.”
The Rs boss laughed off the notion Harry Redknapp was waiting in the wings to take his own job after a poor start, and had been reassured by the board including chairman Tony Fernandes, there was time to turn things around.
He added: “We’re only six games into the season, and I have a great relation with Tony everyone else here.
“They are supportive and understand the way I work.
“It was a bit unfair on Harry when a microphone was put in front of him, and he confirmed he’s not been approached – and that’s the end of it.”
Hughes also confirmed he will be missing up to six players at The Hawthorns, that include Armand Traore, Kieran Dyer, the suspended Samba Diakite, long-term Andy Johnson – but wanted to assess the slim chances of Anton Ferdinand and Jose Bosingwa in a morning training session before the team bus left for the Midlands.