Oct 19 2012 By Paul Warburton
QPR are only six points of their pre-season target – and that's why boss Mark Hughes is the epitome of cool this weekend.
Rangers might sit bottom of the Premier League table, but neither Sparky (pic) nor the board expected a whole heap more when they sat down before a ball was kicked.
What’s scuppered the first two months is an horrendous opening-day defeat at home to Swansea and a 2-1 reverse to West Ham at Loftus Road – both games inked as three-pointers on the manager’s chart.
Harry Redknapp and others hover like grim reapers waiting to take Sparky’s job, but it fazes the man in charge not a bit.
“Does it worry me?” he said. “No. I know how I work, how my staff work, and I would put my ability up against them.
“We are two wins away from where we thought we would be. Put in those terms, we’re not a million miles from our target. Initially, we did flag up we might struggle.
“Unfortunately, we haven’t taken the opportunity in two home games, and consequently that’s put pressure on us.”
Rangers have been forced to play catch up in all but one of their seven Premier games so far, and Hughes admits it’s a worrying trend.
“That’s got to stop,” he said. “We’re not giving ourselves a chance to shape the game and we’re always chasing that leaves us open to counter-attack – and that’s what happened.
“But injuries have cost us, and the reality is I’ve had to select what I’ve been left with as regards a back four. Our home form kept us last season up and we have to replicate that – starting this weekend against Everton.”