English Premiership

New QPR boss 'by weekend'

2012-01-09 13:43
Tony Fernandes (File)

London - Queens Park Rangers chief executive Philip Beard said on Monday the club wanted a new manager in place before this weekend's match away to Newcastle after the English Premiership strugglers sacked Neil Warnock.

Beard, however, refused to confirm the identity of any of the candidates even though former Blackburn, Manchester City and Fulham boss Mark Hughes has emerged as a favourite with several leading British bookmakers.

Malaysian businessman Tony Fernandes, who took over QPR early in the season, sacked Warnock on Sunday, with the west London side just a point above the relegation zone and without a win in their last eight league matches.

QPR also needed a last-minute goal to secure a 1-1 draw at third division Milton Keynes Dons in the FA Cup third round on Sunday.

Beard was coy when asked if former Wales boss Hughes was in the club's sights, telling BBC Radio Five: "I can't confirm anything, what I can tell every QPR fan is that we're working extremely hard to bring in the right person to build some stability at the club and then build for the future.

"We've talked to a lot of people in the game. We've got to get the decision absolutely right.

"We've been working very, very hard in the last 48 hours to make sure that we can put in place a structure that we feel can deliver success to Queens Park Rangers, hopefully for this season but certainly beyond."

Beard added: "I'm hoping that in advance of our important game against Newcastle next Sunday we will have somebody in place, to be up at Newcastle."

Warnock led QPR back to the top flight after a 15-year absence last season but, with the club struggling, Beard said now was the time to bring a new manager into Loftus Road.

"We haven't made the change lightly because of the skills and success that Neil brought to the club but I think QPR fans will understand why we are making the change now," Beard explained.

"We want to remember what he achieved here but we need to move on, we have big aspirations and goals for the club under the new ownership and we think the time is right now to make the change.

"It's not easy at any stage to make a decision like this but we believe it's the right decision for the club and for the fans."

Beard added: "Results have not been good over the last few months and we're now in the January transfer window, we want to do some business in that window if we can and we think if we bring somebody in now it's the right time.

"We're sitting above the relegation zone, but that's not where we really want to be or hoped to be at this stage of the season and we think that making the change now gives us the best chance of staying in the Premier League this season and then really kicking on and building the club in the future."

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