Mark Hughes dossier: Sportsmail's verdict on the new QPR boss' first game in charge
BEST FOOT FORWARD
With his three most creative midfielders absent — Barton suspended, Faurlin injured, Taarabt in Africa — selection options were limited for Mark Hughes. But at least he went for an attacking 4-4-2 formation with much more ambition than his Fulham sides showed in the past.
TIME TO BUY
On this showing, Hughes needs a keeper, an experienced centre back, a midfield enforcer to back up the intelligent play of Barton and a proven centre forward. His mobile will be red hot today.
Out: Joey Barton was suspended
RUNNING ON EMPTY
Rangers started well and energetically, as instructed to by their new boss, but after going behind and as the game wore on, the team’s limitations were exposed. Too many of the players in their retro red and white kit looked off the pace. Senior forwards like Wright- Phillips and Helguson were disappointing.
THE STYLE COUNCIL
While tracksuits were de rigueur for Neil Warnock and his coaching staff on the bench, Team Hughes are a much more stylish bunch. The manager himself was the model of sartorial elegance in his designer overcoat; his coaching staff wore smart body-warmers over their training kit.
Sharp: Mark Hughes looking snappy in his overcoat
Hughes was unhappy, of course, with ref Chris Foy (right) and his assistants, suggesting they were being swayed by the crowd. Shame his players couldn’t match his desire, which saw him berating the officials.
With just 1,300 Rangers fans making the trip north, there was little chance of any chants to welcome the new boss echoing round the stadium. But one lovely Hughes flick, when the ball flew out of play nearby, brought the loudest cheer from the away support. He’s still got it.
Stick: Referee Chris Foy came in for some criticism from Hughes