Mark Hughes has seen it all before – an ambitious and wealthy owner and heightened expectations. When Sheik Mansour took the reigns at Manchester City and pledged to turn the mid-table side into world-beaters, Hughes was not given the time to steer the rather expensive ship, and was replaced by a more glamorous alternative. With the money spent by current club QPR in the summer, is the Welsh trainer in danger of suffering the same fate?
Looking in from the outside, Tony Fernandes looks more reasonable and patient than the ambitious Mansour, but given the amount of money the entrepreneur has poured into the Loftus Road outfit since his August 2011 takeover, a certain level of success is expected. The R’s sit rooted to the bottom of the Premier League table after six games with a lowly tally of two points, with the fans rightly concerned that their side are once more set for a relegation dogfight.
Hughes must take a large portion of the credit for keeping the London club in the top-tier of English football at the first time of asking in 2011-12, but his new signings have failed to settle in initially. With no wins, pressure starts to build, and football fans and owners have little room for sentimentality in the modern game.
From a neutral point of view Premier League survival would appear like a favourable outcome this season for QPR, but the Loftus Road faithful have entered into the campaign with high hopes after the last-day heroics of last term. However it would appear early thoughts of a mid-table finish will now be scrapped in favour for avoiding relegation.
QPR escaped the drop last season due to excellent home form after the turn of the year, with some of the big boys coming unstuck at Loftus Road. However, defeats to Swansea, West Ham and Reading in the Capital One Cup, all at home, will have alarm bells ringing.
Given the fact that Rangers have all but a new team after eleven purchases in the summer transfer window, it is natural that the team have taken time to hit their straps. The logical thing now is to back Hughes and give him time to lead the club in the right direction. However, with the amount of money invested in the club and the calibre of player at the Welshman’s disposal, the first win for QPR this season is already well overdue.