Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Swallow Your Pride, Tony, and Show Hughes the Exit Door; Rangers Chief Fernandes Must Put the Beleaguered Boss out of His Misery after the Club Continued to Make the Same Inept Mistakes Yesterday. by Simon Johnson

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Swallow Your Pride, Tony, and Show Hughes the Exit Door; Rangers Chief Fernandes Must Put the Beleaguered Boss out of His Misery after the Club Continued to Make the Same Inept Mistakes Yesterday. by Simon Johnson

Article excerpt

Byline: Simon Johnson

QPR 1 reading 1

TONY FERNANDES continues to show admirable support for manager Mark Hughes but the Queens Park Rangers chairman is now in danger of letting his pride come before a fall.

As the boos rang out round Loftus Road after a 10th successive League game without a win this season, one can only assume that they fell on deaf ears in the boardroom.

For Hughes confirmed after the draw with fellow strugglers Reading that, in contrast to many of the club's fans, Fernandes had offered him his full backing once again.

The QPR manager said: "Tony has been fine. We've just been speaking and he's as frustrated as we all are but he has real belief about what is going to happen to this football club.

"Obviously there is impatience in football and we have to understand that but he is a guy that likes longevity, he likes things to be stable and that's the only way you can progress."

Given Fernandes issued a similar message in his programme notes, a phonein show for Rangers fans last Thursday and on his personal Twitter account throughout the season, it is understandable why his words are having less of an impact on the home crowd.

Instead, there is a growing frustration over the endless endorsements Hughes keeps getting but the supporters should not be that surprised because Fernandes also has a lot to lose should he send the Welshman on his way.

The 48-year-old businessman was the one that chose to fire Neil Warnock at the beginning of January and appointed Hughes with great fanfare to lead the club to safety, giving him good backing in the transfer market.

It was a major gamble and only just succeeded. It took QPR winning their last five home games to triumph and even then they only stayed in the top flight on goal difference.Hughes was then given more investment in the squad to turn them into a mid-table club and yet 10 months after taking the helm, QPR are in an even worse position than they ever were under Warnock and have still yet to win away from home in 2012.

After a measly tally of four points from a possible 30, speculation linking Harry Redknapp with the post will only intensify but Hughes remains Fernandes's man. The Air Asia owner has invested a lot of time, finances and trust in his direction and by sacking him, he will be admitting to making a terrible and expensive mistake.

One senses that this successful businessman is not prepared to be associated with such failure and that is why Hughes is being given more time, than perhaps he deserves, to turn things around.

No one wants to see a manager lose his job but then no one enjoys seeing a team get relegated either, unless they happen to be a close rival of some kind. The problem is if Fernandes's faith goes unrewarded too much longer, it could be too late for Rangers to recover. …

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