West Bromwich Albion vs. Queens Park Rangers  3 - 2


Hughes remains bullish on future

6 October 2012 20:59

Mark Hughes says he is the right man to lead QPR to safety despite defeat at West Brom leaving them bottom of the table after seven matches.

Rangers found themselves facing a two goal deficit in less than half an hour at the Hawthorns, and although Adel Taarabt netted a spectacular individual effort and Esteban Granero scored a late consolation, the team's defensive vulnerability allowed West Brom to claim a 3-2 win.

Hughes was asked after the match if he was confident he could lead the team to safety, and the combative manager insisted: "Absolutely."

He remained upbeat in his assessment of the defeat, but acknowledged supporters' concerns.

"We could have got an equaliser late on, but our concerns would still have been there. We aren't doing the fundamentals well enough," he said.

"We knew where we might possibly be at the beginning of season because of the number of changes we made.

"We are disappointed because we have deserved more in matches this season, although not so much today. In a number of matches this season we have shown we have quality.

"We have come a long way in a short pace of time. We had a difficult time last season but we stayed in the Premier League. We have had injuries which haven’t helped, but we need to improve results."

For his part, West Brom coach Steve Clarke remained grounded following the win that saw his team climb to fourth in the table, claiming they still had a lot of improvement left in them.

"We created a lot of chances, but took longer to see the game out than we would've liked," Clarke said.

"I thought we were a little sloppy defensively which isn’t like us. Conceding the second goal made us nervous."

Asked if he expected this strong start, West Brom's best in 100 years, Clarke replied: "Why not? I knew I was coming into a good group of players.

"They were comfortable in the Premier League. I'm not over surprised. I'm delighted, but not overly-surprised. I knew we would be competitive.

"We don’t get carried away. We approach each game one at a time. We don't get ahead of ourselves. We know our primary objective. Having another season in the Premier League is our objective and that has to be for most teams in Premier League."


Premier League: West Bromwich Albion 3 Queens Park Rangers 2

6 October 2012 18:18

West Brom continued their impressive start to the Premier League season on Saturday with a 3-2 win over Queens Park Rangers at the Hawthorns.

The hosts had a 2-0 lead after 22 minutes thanks to goals from James Morrison and then Zoltan Gera, but QPR came back into it thanks to a great Adel Taarabt strike 10 minutes before the break.

Although the visitors had a lot of possession, Youssouf Mulumbu secured the win late on, meaning Esteban Granero's stoppage time goal was no more than a consolation.

The visitors looked confident early on, but they soon found themselves behind. Shane Long effortlessly breezed past Clint Hill down West Brom's right before crossing, and Morrison was there to head past a helpless Julio Cesar.

The duo combined again minutes later, this time Morrison crossed for Long, but after taking a touch the Irishman smashed his effort over from seven yards out.

West Brom were dominating the first-half and were two up soon after, with Morrison involved yet again. The midfielder played in a low ball from the right, and although Anton Ferdinand got a slight touch on the ball, Gera arrived at the perfect time to slot it into the bottom corner.

However, the visitors clawed their way back into the contest thanks to a sumptuous goal from Taarabt as the volatile attacker brought down Granero's chipped pass and lashed a volley past Ben Foster.

Morrison had another chance before half-time, but the home side had to be content with a 2-1 lead at the break.

A pattern was established in the second period as Rangers continuously booted the ball towards Bobby Zamora, and although the England international was dominating aerially, chances were few and far between.

Granero should have done a lot better with 25 minutes to go, but after a Zamora knock-down the Spaniard fired well over from just inside the penalty area.

Morrison was quiet after the break, although he went very close with a long-range effort that whistled just wide of the top corner, and the hosts secured the points late on through Mulumbu.

Gonzalo Jara got to the by-line before cutting a ball back to the Congolese midfielder and he stroked the ball into the bottom corner with ease on 85 minutes.

Granero got one back in injury time with a cool finish, but it was not enough for the visitors who are still looking for their first win of the new season.


Hughes backs talented Taarabt

5 October 2012 18:43

QPR manager Mark Hughes has denied his relationship with Adel Taarabt has deteriorated, praising the midfielder's performance against West Ham.

The 23-year-old got on the scoresheet for QPR in only his second Premier League appearance of the season on Monday.

And, though Hughes admitted the Moroccan's attitude has been a cause of concern in the past, he insisted Taarabt remains a key part of the first-team squad.

Hughes told reporters: "Adel is a talented young man and that talent is recognised here, we support him but he is a young player and sometimes he makes the wrong decisions.

"There are always consequences when you do that but he is in a good place now and we are pleased with what he is producing and as a consequence we will reap the benefit on the pitch.

"Professional football is a way of life and you have to commit to that and it is fair to say that in the past Adel hasn’t made the correct decisions about what he should be doing.

"But I'm very happy with what he is doing at the moment. He is training correctly, training well and having an impact.

"Obviously he has been injured in recent weeks so that is why I haven’t been able to play him but he is back now and certainly in my thoughts for the weekend."

The Welshman went on to hail the former Tottenham playmaker's goalscoring contribution during the 2-1 defeat to Sam Allardyce's side.

"We were very pleased with what Adel produced the other night, I think he came on with a real purposeful attitude to what needed to be done at that point," he said.

"He came on and made an immediate impact and was ready to perform, which is what we want from all of our players.

"He is just a young player, he is still learning the game and still understanding what it takes to be a top professional but he will get there because he has got good people around him and we will support him and make sure he gets to the level that his talent deserves."


Premier League preview: West Brom v QPR

4 October 2012 11:40

Queens Park Rangers' Mark Hughes has conceded his injury-ruined defence is unlikely to receive reinforcements to play West Bromwich Albion.

QPR have conceded 13 goals in six games so far this season and are bottom of the English Premier League.

The 48-year-old manager has revealed he expects injured defenders Anton Ferdinand, Jose Bosingwa, Fabio (all hamstring) and Armand Traore (ankle) to miss the trip to West Bromwich.

That will make it difficult for Hughes to improve QPR's back four before Sunday's game.

"In terms of selection it's too fragmented at the moment because of injuries," Hughes said.

"We haven't got that solidity but it needs to improve quickly so we can get results."

QPR have drawn twice and lost four times so far this season, including a 2-1 home defeat against West Ham on Monday.

Hughes' side face a tough task this weekend as they take on WBA, who sit sixth on the Premier League table and came from behind to draw 1-1 with local rivals Aston Villa last round.

WBA have surprised many with their impressive start to the new campaign, winning three and drawing two in the first six rounds.

Manager Steve Clarke has WBA playing good football - solid and hard-working in defence, while quick and clever when attacking.

New signings Claudio Yacob and Romelu Lukaku have both added something extra to WBA's predominantly no-frills squad, while Clarke was thrilled with how Macedonian defender Goran Popov handled his debut in the derby versus Aston Villa.

"He's an experienced player, has played in a lot of big matches and he showed that today," Clarke said.

"He's got a terrific left foot, knows the game, knows how to defend and is a strong boy.

"He gives us another good option in the squad."

Clarke has injury concerns of his own heading into the match.

Chris Brunt (hamstring) and Billy Jones (knee) were both substituted in the first half against Villa, while Gareth McAuley picked up a knock in the second half but had to play on.

Liam Ridgewell (calf/shin), Steven Reid (hamstring) and Jerome Thomas (knee) will all face fitness tests this week to prove they are ready to play.

With WBA having scored eight goals this season to QPR's four, the home team should have too much firepower against the visitors from London.

Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 38 +43 89
2 38 +32 78
3 38 +36 75
4 38 +35 73
5 38 +20 72
6 38 +15 63
7 38 +28 61
8 38 -4 49
9 38 -4 46
10 38 -8 46
11 38 -17 44
12 38 -10 43
13 38 -11 42
14 38 -11 41
15 38 -22 41
16 38 -23 41
17 38 -13 39
18 38 -26 36
19 38 -30 28
20 38 -30 25