Hughes may need to change style – Parker

Ex-QPR and England star Paul Parker believes his former team-mate Mark Hughes may have to adjust his style if he is to succeed at Loftus Road.

Parker knows the Welshman well, having playing alongside him for Manchester United after leaving west London in 1991.

And he insists the sometimes aloof Hughes will find managing Rangers a very different type of assignment to his last job at Fulham.

“QPR are in a precarious position and need to dig themselves out of it, but ‘Sparky’ doesn’t lose many battles,” Parker told West London Sport.

“Sparky’s got a reputation from when he was a player and he’s got to earn the respect of QPR fans.”

“He inspired Blackburn after taking over from Graeme Souness and will be looking to do the same at Rangers. It’s a great chance for him.”

But Parker, who started his career with Fulham, added: “He may need to change his style. When you manage QPR you’re part of a community as well as being a manager.

“I hope Sparky appreciates that and is open, comes out and speaks to people. He’ll need to engage with the fans.

“He’s managed Fulham but I can say that QPR is 100% a totally different club to Fulham – and he’ll find that.

“Fulham don’t have the same mentality or hardcore of fans as QPR. At Rangers you find loads of fans who were there way before I played there and can tell you everything about that club.

“It’s a proper club – a smaller version of Man United in that sense. Fulham is a different type of club and the QPR way is something I hope Sparky embraces.

“I’ve always likened QPR to West Ham, who were my local team. They’re similar sorts of clubs.

“It’s a great chance for him there and I’d love to see him do well because I love QPR – it’s always them I look out for first.”

Hughes was Parker’s team-mate at Manchester United.

Hughes, 48, is remembered by many R’s fans for his bruising – and sometimes controversial – encounters with Parker, Danny Maddix and in particular Alan McDonald during the 80s and 90s.

He also played for Rangers’ neighbours Chelsea, but Parker believes supporters will be keen to get behind the new man.

“Sparky’s got a reputation from when he was a player and he’s got to earn the respect of QPR fans,” he said.

“A lot of Rangers fans don’t like him because they accuse him of getting Alan McDonald sent off [in an FA Cup tie in 1989].

“But results make all the difference and they’ll of course give him an opportunity if things go well.”

Hughes’ appointment was confirmed within 48 hours of Neil Warnock’s sacking. He met the players for the first time at Rangers’ Harlington training ground on Tuesday afternoon.

And with the R’s having recently been linked with the likes of Chris Samba, Andrew Johnson and Bobby Zamora, Parker suspects the ex-Manchester City boss was lined up by majority shareholder Tony Fernandes some time ago.

“He must have been in the thoughts of Tony Fernandes,” Parker said.

Fernandes is keen to make major signings.

“You look at the players QPR have been linked with over the last six to eight weeks and they’ve mostly been at Blackburn or Fulham – players who’ve played under him before.

“It may be a pure coincidence, but it seems very strange to me. It suggests to me that Fernandes wanted Mark Hughes all along.”

He added: “Tony Fernandes is all about big names. He wants big-name players and a big-name manager.

“And for quite a small club, Rangers has always been a very good club – a top club in London for many years – and will feel they’re back where they belong now.

“But you have to earn the right to sign big players. You first have to consolidate in the Premier League and once that happens, I’m sure players will want to go to QPR because it’s a good club.

“It’s also a club in the best part of London. Players from up north and outside England will want to live around west London rather than anywhere else, so Sparky’s got a great opportunity.”

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