Mark Hughes: I’m at Queens Park Rangers for the long haul
Queens Park Rangers boss Mark Hughes insists he is planning a long stay at Loftus Road after succeeding Neil Warnock
Mark Hughes insists he is at Queens Park Rangers for the long haul after taking the reigns at Loftus Road on a two-and-a-half year deal.
The Welshman left Fulham at the end of last season after just a year in charge – but at his first news conference as QPR boss on Wednesday, Hughes made clear his desire for “longevity” at his new club.
“My last couple of positions haven’t lasted as long as I wanted them to so now I’m wanting longevity,” said Hughes. “I’ve just had my first day at the training ground. I’m certainly not thinking of leaving any time soon.
“It’s been a whirlwind of negotiations. It all happened very quickly but it was clear in my mind that the ambition of the club matched that of my own career.”
With QPR one place and one point above the relegation zone, the 48-year-old is under no illusions about what is expected of him after succeeding Neil Warnock, who was sacked on Sunday after less than two years in charge.
“We need to be in the Premier League this time next year,” he said. “We’re not thinking we’re going down. Maybe that was one of the factors in pursuing me as manager – perhaps the board felt they needed to make the change to stay in the Premier League.”
Hughes also insisted he had no intention of stripping controversial midfielder Joey Barton of the captaincy at Loftus Road.
“Joey’s the captain and I see no reason to change that,” he continued. “Obviously, I’ll be having conversations with all the players and understanding the dynamics of the team but it’s not my intention to take the captaincy away.”
Speaking about his departure from Craven Cottage last summer, Hughes added: “The situation at the end of last season is one that has happened. That was the correct decision and I stand by it. I’m very excited about what’s ahead and I’m going to give it my best shot.
“This excites me. I’m looking forward and really happy with the decision I’ve made and I’m very excited of what is ahead of us.”
QPR chief executive Philip Beard added: “We’ve spent a lot of time over the last few days trying to understand the ambitions that Mark has as a manager. When we sat down I explained the short, medium and long-term visions that we’ve got for the club and the conversation started to get a lot closer. It took two or three hours of exciting discussions to understand what we feel we can achieve here.”