Hughes does not want sympathy
Mark Hughes insists he does not deserve sympathy from anyone as he enters a period which is likely to prove crucial to his future and that of QPR.
QPR welcome Reading to Loftus Road on Sunday with Hughes still looking to register his first Barclays Premier League win of the season.
The R's boss spent millions on recruiting 11 new first-team players this summer, but they have struggled to gel and have only collected three points so far as a result.
Hughes, who insists he has the full backing of club owner Tony Fernandes, has not been helped this season by poor refereeing decisions - most notably in last weekend's defeat at Arsenal - and his own players' indiscipline.
The Welshman claims he does not deserve any pity for the things that have gone against him this season, though.
"Nobody needs to feel sorry for me," Hughes said.
"This is football. It's fine. You can do everything correctly and sometimes you can get a curve ball and the roof starts falling in.
"There is nothing you can do about it."
Fernandes warned before the season began that QPR may take time to gel, particularly with the difficult fixture list the Londoners were handed.
Hughes' men have taken on Manchester City, Tottenham, Arsenal and Chelsea in their opening nine games, but now they face a winnable run of matches against Reading, Stoke and Southampton.
Hughes admits it is vital his team put a good sequence of results together this month.
He added: "We have in recent weeks played against teams in the top half of the table and we have acquitted ourselves well without getting the points we felt we deserved.
"Now we are up against teams that are in and around us so they take on more significance because we need to get maximum points.
"We know we've got opportunities in the games we have coming up to get more points on the board and that's our intention."
Brian McDermott insists he has the backing of owner Anton Zingarevich as Reading also step up their search for a first Barclays Premier League win of the season.
West Ham boss Sam Allardyce has identified McDermott as one of the managers currently under pressure, but the Reading manager is confident he has the support of Zingarevich.
"The owner was in a team meeting with us last week so he knows what we're about. He has known us since January now," McDermott said.
"Obviously we want more points on the board, but he knows that everybody is giving everything they've got, so he's been really supportive.
"In January he said to me, 'look we don't need to go up now, maybe have a real go at it the following season'.
"I said to him 'I'm 50 years of age now, I need to go up'. So I was the one who wasn't patient, but he was patient.
"He saw this season maybe a year in advance but now we're here."
Reading have been coming to terms with Tuesday's stunning 7-5 Capital One Cup defeat by Arsenal, a match they led 4-0 late in the first half.
While the result was hard to take, McDermott insists the pain of their npower Championship play-off final defeat by Swansea in May 2011 was harder to take.
"Directly after the game I was in a little bit of shock," McDermott said.
"I drove home, watched the game back and went to bed about 4am. I was up the next day and got on with it because it is a game of football.
"I had a game in the play-off final and after that nothing will ever, ever hurt me again. Nothing."
"Because that's as bad as it ever gets. You really have to be proud with some of the stuff that we produced the other night and that's what I'm holding on to."