Under-fire Hughes says he will not resign

Mark Hughes insisted he had no intention of resigning following his team’s humiliating 3-1 home defeat against fellow strugglers Southampton.

Bottom of the table and without a league win this season, QPR were well beaten in a one-sided match that had been dubbed ‘El Sackico’ because of the pressure on both managers.

The home fans made their disgust clear, with many calling for Hughes to be replaced as Rangers boss.

But Hughes said: “I don’t run away from challenges and this is a huge challenge.

“It was a challenge in January when there weren’t many people queueing for the job and I decided to come here.

“This season I was happy to raise expectations and I expected us to have a good season but it’s not happening at the moment.

“The fans are well within their rights to criticise myself and my staff who prepare the players.

“But the club does need stability. It’s a huge effort to bring the club to where it wants to be and we’re going through a lot of pain at the moment.

“I still have confidence in the group. Today we didn’t perform and maybe it’s a watershed – we can’t get any lower than this.”

Asked if he felt he had the support of his players, he replied: “Absolutely. Not based on today’s performance, but last week they were excellent.

“Speak to them and I know they’re desperate to turn the situation around.”

Hughes planned a fast start against a side plagued by defensive problems this season.

But it was Nigel Adkins’ men who seized the early initiative, capitalising on shoddy Rangers defending to lead 2-0 at half-time.

“It definitely wasn’t the performance we were looking for,” Hughes admitted.

“We talked all week about the significance of this game and maybe that created anxiety in our players.

“In the first half we weren’t engaging or closing people down – all the fundamental things you need.

“When that happens you’re going to concede goals and that’s happened too many times this season.

“We talked about a fast start and it was a key part of what we were trying to do, but we didn’t put them any kind of pressure.

“We need to look at the reasons why that happened and pick the bones out of it.”



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