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Man Utd V QPR at Old Trafford : Match Preview

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Updated 23 Nov 2012 17:31:14

Man Utd V QPR at Old Trafford : Match Preview

Man Utd V QPR - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.


New players caused QPR problems - Ferguson

Sir Alex Ferguson believes the problems at QPR can be attributed to a summer of upheaval at Loftus Road - and claimed their woes should be a lesson to everyone.

Mark Hughes finally paid the price for a run of results that leaves the Londoners adrift at the foot of the Premier League when he was axed as manager.

The only surprise was that it came just 24 hours before QPR's visit to Manchester United, when the deed could have been done much earlier.

Speaking barely 90 minutes before the announcement was made, Ferguson claimed that one of the problems was expecting too much from a squad that had been put together during the summer thanks to the addition of 11 new players, including former United midfielder Park Ji-sung and defender Fabio on loan.

"If you analyse things a little bit more closely it's probably a lesson to everyone that changing a team and bringing 11 new players in to the Premier League is not easy," said Ferguson. "But I am surprised they've only got four points.

"I didn't expect them to immediately set a blazing trail or be up at the top of the league or anything like that with 11 new players to bed in, but they've only four points and of course that creates its own headlines."

Ferguson will not let the sideshow distract his side from the task in hand as they attempt to avoid a hat-trick of defeats for the first time since 2001.

Ferguson's squad will be strengthened by the return of virtually all the senior players who missed the midweek Champions League trip to Galatasaray, including Wayne Rooney - who has recovered from tonsillitis - and Chris Smalling, who had a slight shoulder problem.

With Phil Jones making his comeback from knee surgery, Ferguson has a genuine selection decision to make in defence for the first time this season.

Meanwhile, QPR and Harry Redknapp are to begin talks "shortly" about the vacant manager's position at Loftus Road.

A spokesman for Paul Stretford's Triple S Sports and Entertainment company said: "Contact has been made between QPR and us as Harry Redknapp's representatives.

"Talks will be beginning shortly."

Hughes was sacked on Friday by the London club, who have not won a Premier League game all season.

Redknapp's name has long been linked with the managerial position at Loftus Road as Hughes continued to fail to get the best out of his big-name players at the club.

But it is understood no contact was made until after Hughes was sacked.

As well as being unable to guide QPR to a league win this season Hughes had struggled to pick up results since replacing Neil Warnock as manager back in January.

Rangers won only eight games in all competitions under the Welshman and it was reported Hughes rejected the chance to resign from his position in a meeting at the club's training ground on Monday.

QPR owner Tony Fernandes consistently came out on Twitter to back Hughes but the 3-1 home defeat to fellow strugglers Southampton last weekend appears to have been the final straw for the board, which released a statement confirming the end of Hughes' tenure.

The statement read: "Queens Park Rangers Football Club has today (Friday) terminated the contract of manager Mark Hughes with immediate effect.

"This decision has been taken after careful consideration by the Board of Directors, following numerous meetings over the last few days.

"The Board of Directors wish to thank Mark for his commitment, hard work and dedication in his 10 months in charge. Mark has shown integrity and professionalism throughout his time here, but ultimately the circumstances we find ourselves in have left the Board of Directors with very little choice but to make a change."

The sacking comes just 24 hours before QPR's trip to face United and the board seem to have acted quickly in contacting former Tottenham boss Redknapp to replace Hughes, something they stressed was of importance.

"The Board will now be working actively to put a new managerial structure in place as soon as possible," the statement continued.

"Mark Bowen and Eddie Niedzwiecki will take charge of the R's trip to Manchester United in the Barclays Premier League on Saturday afternoon.

"The club will be making a further announcement in due course."

When asked by the BBC whether he will be a guest of the club at QPR, Redknapp said only: "We will have to wait and see."

QPR captain Park Ji-sung (knee) remains a doubt for the clash with his former club.

Stephane Mbia is back after serving a three-match ban but strikers Bobby Zamora (hip) and Andrew Johnson (knee) are out and on-loan defender Fabio cannot feature against his parent club.


PA

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