Mark Hughes: QPR must exploit any Reading nerves
Mark Hughes calls on Queens Park Rangers to exploit any apprehension in the Reading defence after their defeat by Arsenal
Mark Hughes has urged Queens Park Rangers to exploit any “apprehension” in the Reading defence when his side take on Brian McDermott’s men at Loftus Road on Sunday.
The Royals make the trip to the west London outfit fresh from a 7-5 defeat by Arsenal in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday night, with Reading having squandered a four-goal lead.
Hughes does not expect the newly-promoted side to dwell on their disappointing League Cup loss, but the Welshman has called on QPR to produce a probing attacking display to expose any uncertainty in the visitors’ defence.
“Reading have had a period where they’ve shipped more goals than they would have liked, but I’m sure in the short turnaround after the game against Arsenal, they’ve been working hard to address that,” said Hughes.
“We’ve got to make sure that if they do have any anxiety in terms of their defensive work, we’ve got to draw them out and capitalise on that.
“That needs to be our focus. We need to exploit any apprehension they have in terms of their general play.”
The Hoops’ home form was key in avoiding relegation to the Championship last season, but Hughes admits his side are yet to recreate those performances this term.
Swansea and West Ham United both beat QPR at home, while the R’s earned valiant a point against Chelsea and Everton.
But the Welshman wants his side to begin taking maximum points at Loftus Road – starting with a win against Reading.
“The pressure that we have is that we want to win Premier League games, and certainly our home games,” added Hughes.
“That’s something that we based the second half of the season on good home form – we were excellent. We haven’t replicated that yet.
“Although I’d say in fairness, we’ve had four home games, we’ve drawn with Chelsea and Everton, and we’ve underperformed against Swansea and West Ham.
“If we’d won those games as we should have done, we’d be sitting on nine points and there would be no focus on us.
“So we know we are where we are, but it’s about time we got points on the board. Home games will always be key for a club like ourselves, we need to take maximum points.”