Mark Hughes backs Djibril Cisse to fire QPR to Premier League safety
Queens Park Rangers manager Mark Hughes believes Djibril Cisse's goals could be the key to securing their top flight survival
Mark Hughes believes Djibril Cisse can still be the difference between survival and relegation for Queens Park Rangers, despite the Frenchman’s poor disciplinary record.
The 30-year-old has scored three league goals in just four appearances for QPR since joining from Lazio in a £4m deal in January, but his impact up front has been overshadowed by his two red cards.
However, despite Cisse’s on-field indiscretions, his manager is backing the former Liverpool forward to return from suspension and fire the Hoops towards safety with daunting games against Chelsea and Manchester City looming large.
“One of the reasons we brought him here is because we think he’s a player that can make a difference,” Hughes said.
“We want him to do that in the games we have him available for. Obviously he’s been out for a number of weeks so I’m mindful of that.
“But certainly he’s going to play a big part from now until the end of the season in terms of what he can produce on the pitch to really get us over the line.’
The QPR boss added: “His red cards are disappointing for us all but we have to get over that as there’s nothing we can do about it.
“The first one [against Wolverhampton Wanderers] was unfortunate, the second one [against Sunderland] was a situation which could have been avoided from Djibril’s point of view, and he’s held his hands up and admitted that.
“But he’s back now, and there are three games to make amends somewhat, although we don’t pitch it to him like that. I feel he has a real determination from within to make his mark and make a difference in the last few games.”
The France international has played for seven clubs in a career spanning 14 seasons and Hughes believes Cisse’s experience can be a vital resource for QPR in their final three games.
“He’s been at top clubs and scored goals at this level for many years, playing in Champions League finals,” Hughes added.
“He’s got huge experience which we’re allowed to draw upon.
“The opening of his QPR career has been frustrating for him but that doesn’t reduce the quality he can produce on any given day.
“We hope that from now until the end of the season, he’ll have games where he can take the game away from the opposition.”