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Reading owner"s wife: Katsia Zingarevich royal beauty perks up club"s relegation scrap

Reading's striking options: Royals owner's wife in bid to help ailing club beat the drop

By
Andy James

PUBLISHED:

15:22 GMT, 1 March 2013

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UPDATED:

15:52 GMT, 1 March 2013

Second-bottom of the Barclays Premier League, having being thumped 3-0 at home to Wigan last week, Reading can be forgiven for seeking inspiration from any source possible. And, it seems the owner’s wife is rallying behind the Royals' bid for survival.

Belarusian bombshell Katsia Zingarevich, wife of Reading owner Anton, is desperate for the Royals to win three points against Everton tomorrow — at least according to the lingerie brand Intimissimi she endorses.

Mrs Zingarevich earned the title of Ford’s Supermodel of the World back in 2006, the same year Reading were first promoted to the Barclays Premier League, so perhaps that’s a good omen.

Royal beauty: Katsia, wife of owner Anton Zingarevich, is desperate to see Reading remain in the top flight

Royal beauty: Katsia, wife of owner Anton Zingarevich, is desperate to see Reading remain in the top flight

Other half: Reading owner Anton Zingarevich looks on before last season's Championship match against Leeds

Other half: Reading owner Anton Zingarevich looks on before last season's Championship match against Leeds

Bottom half of the Barclays Premier League table

Bottom half of the Barclays Premier League table

It will be an odd afternoon for Reading
midfielder Hope Akpan, who admits he will get a buzz from facing his
boyhood club again.

The 21-year-old joined the Toffees as an eight-year-old and remained at Goodison Park until a move to Crawley in 2011.

He then penned a deal with Reading in the recent January transfer window and will go back to face his boyhood club this weekend.

'Going
back to where I started my career from a young age is going to be
exciting, definitely, but I’m a Reading player now and I want to do well
for Reading,' he said.

'At the end of the day it is just another game so I’ve got to go out with the same mentality as I do every time I play.

Katsia

katsia

Katsia

Excited: Hope Akpan (right) says he will get a buzz from facing boyhood club Everton

Excited: Hope Akpan (right) says he will get a buzz from facing boyhood club Everton

'It is a massive game for Reading Football Club because, in the position we are, we need to get out of there and we need the points more than anything so I will put everything to one side and concentrate on getting a result for Reading.”

Reading lost 3-0 at home to fellow strugglers Wigan last weekend to fall back into the relegation places in the Premier League.

But Akpan claims the players are not letting the defeat play on their minds and believes a positive result at Everton is achievable.

'After a result like we had on Saturday I think we just need to let it go,' he said.

'It was a bad day for the players and the club, we’ve moved on now and are ready for the game on Saturday.

'Every
game you go into you have to believe that you can get the points from
the game. Everton are a strong team throughout the entire squad but we
have to make sure we implement ourselves on them.”

Brian
McDermott’s Reading side picked up their first win of the season
against Everton in November and a decent run of form after Christmas saw
the Berkshire club push towards top-flight safety.

In it together: Akpan is aiming to help Reading get back on track after being pulled back into a relegation scrap

In it together: Akpan is aiming to help Reading get back on track after being pulled back into a relegation scrap

Praise: Akpan said he enjoys playing under Reading gaffer Brian McDermott

Praise: Akpan said he enjoys playing under Reading gaffer Brian McDermott

The loss to Wigan has pulled Reading right back into the relegation battle but Akpan is enjoying playing under McDermott and is targeting a result on Saturday before a clash at home to Aston Villa the following week.

'We built a good momentum a couple of weeks back and got some good results back-to-back,' he said.

'That is the way to pick up points so hopefully we can get a result here and then go into the Villa game.

'He is a great guy, the gaffer. He gets his point across well and the things he has told me to do I have tried to implement them in the games so it has been really good.'

Andrey Arshavin wanted by Reading

Arshavin heading to Reading as Royals' Russian owner looks to bolster survival bid

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UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 26 December 2012

Frozen out: Arshavin

Frozen out: Arshavin

Arsenal outcast Andrey Arshavin is close to sealing a January move to relegation-threatened Reading.

The Gunners signed him for 15million in 2009 but he has held talks over a switch to the Madejski Stadium, where billionaire Russian owner Anton Zingarevich wants the 31-year-old – a superstar in their homeland – to bolster his struggling squad.

Arsenal are listening to offers for Arshavin, out of contract at the end of the season, as they try to shift his 85,000-a-week contract off the wage bill.

Arsenal, who are willing to take a hefty loss on the forward, could offload him for as little as 2m. Sources close to Arshavin insist he is taking the offer seriously, given his frustration at Arsenal and the chance to link up with compatriot Zingarevich.

Reading have made an informal offer for Arshavin, who has been told he can leave if he can find the right deal for him and Arsenal straight away. His old club Zenit St Petersburg are keen, as are Fulham.

Marouane Chamakh, on 60,000 a week, is the other big earner Arsenal will try to off-load in January. West Ham and Norwich are keen.

Sport villains of the year – featuring Roman Abramovich, Joey Barton and Lance Armstrong

Forget Sports Personality of the Year… here's the 12 contenders for Villain of 2012! Barton, Abramovich and Armstrong all feature on our alternative shortlist

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UPDATED:

15:59 GMT, 16 December 2012

TODAY'S POLL

Who is the sporting villain of 2012

VOTE

Roman Abramovich

POLL RESULTS

Close

All polls
Click to view yesterday's poll results

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After a golden year of British sport,
it's understandable that tonight's Sports Personality of the Year is
creating so much excitement.

But
it's worth casting our minds back to some of the less impressive
sporting moments of the year, where our sporting heroes have offered
moments of hilarity, humiliation and in some cases downright disgrace.

Cast your vote to crown the villain of the year 2012. The contenders are…

Kevin Pietersen

KP faced a whole lot of controversy after he admitted to sending ‘provocative’ texts to the South African squad about his captain and team-mate Andrew Strauss.

A South African by birth, Pietersen came under fire for an apparent lack of loyalty to the national squad, and further unsettled team-mates with his fascination with the Indian Premier League.

But after much apologising he began his re-integration into the squad during their series in India.

John Terry

The saga began after a clash between Chelsea and QPR in October 2011, where Terry was accused of using racist language to abuse Anton Ferdinand.

This year, the Chelsea captain, who was stripped of the England captaincy, was cleared of a racially aggravated public order offence by a court.

However, the FA went on to find him guilty of misconduct, and proceeded to fine him 220,000 on top of a four-match ban.

‘Improbable, implausible and contrived’ was how the FA’s disciplinary panel described Terry’s defence, and many felt that the punishment had been far too lenient.

John Terry is accused of a racial slur against Anton Ferdinand

John Terry has been handed a four-match ban in 2012 for using abusive language relating to race against Anton Ferdinand

Roman Abramovich

The Russian has sent Chelsea into turmoil this season, sacking Roberto di Matteo after a string of disappointing results.

They were unceremoniously dumped out of the Champions League only six months after winning the trophy under Di Matteo.

Replacement Rafa Benitez has hardly had the warmest welcome and is likely to be on his way as well if Pep Guardiola agrees to take over next season.

So, it is fair to say there is little long-term vision, with Abramovich favouring an expensive and quick-fix solution over anything that requires a long-term investment.

But after saving them from near bankruptcy and using a billion pounds from his own pocket to finance the club, he can run the club how he likes – success or no success.

Roman Abramovich celebrates winning the Premiership with Chelsea

The Chelsea boss has gone through nine managers since taking on Chelsea, and recently sacked Roberto di Matteo

Trenton Oldfield

The
boat race may often be ridiculed by those without a double-barreled surname, but there was little sympathy for Oldfield, who sabotaged the race by swimming across the path of the oncoming boats in a protest
against elitism.

If
the act itself wasn’t enough to anger both the crews and supporters, the
smug grin plastered on the Australian’s face as he was led away by
police certainly did the trick.

Cambridge
went on to win the race, but after an Oxford oar was snapped following a
re-start and the Dark Blues bow Alexander Woods collapsed in the boat
at the finish line, there was a distinctly subdued air over the win.

The presentation ceremony was cancelled and there was little celebration from any of the crews. Oldfield was jailed for six months in October.

Michel Platini speaks at a conference at the National Stadium in Warsaw

Michel Platini has proposed that Euro 2020 be held at stadiums all over the continent

Michel Platini

The Frenchman is nothing if not ambitious. His proposal of a ‘Euros for Europe,’ with matches being played across the continent in different cities, is certainly novel.

But it has been criticised by fans who feel that it shows a complete disregard for their enjoyment, and an unfortunate focus on money and TV revenue.

The shambles that was the bidding process for Euro 2020, in which Platini expressed a preference for Turkey before their bid was deemed unviable, led to a lack of options for the UEFA president.

Host countries were thin on the
ground, with few being able to afford the new financial burden.

Cynical
observers have suggested that this cross-continent proposal might be
down to Platini’s hopes for the FIFA presidency in 2015.

It is another blow after his decision to extend the Euros from 16 to 24 teams from 2016 – diluting the standard of what is a brilliant tournament.

Frankie Dettori

The Italian was handed a six-month ban by French racing authorities this year after failing a drugs test.

The drug was taken during what Dettori called a ‘night of madness’ with his friends when the jockey’s career was at a low ebb.

He will return to the saddle in May, hoping to redeem himself on the racecourse, but the 42-year-old has expressed concern that his reputation will never recover.

Frankie Dettori was banned for six months by French authorities after taking drugs

The Italian jockey received a six-month ban for taking a drug, suspected to be cocaine, during a 'night of madness.'

Lance Armstrong

Has ever a hero fallen so hard as Lance Armstrong It is hard to recall anyone who has made such a leap from being respected to disgraced.

The cancer-surviving cyclist had all seven of his Tour de France titles stripped this year after the US Anti-Doping Agency accused him of running ‘the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen.’

Armstrong, while maintaining his innocence, chose not to fight the report produced by the USADA.

But while the strides he made on the bike have now been called into question, the efforts he made to aid cancer research will remain perhaps his greatest achievement.

Although he has now stepped down as the head of Livestrong, the $500million that he helped raise remains.

David Haye and Dereck Chisora

A bit of trash talk is to be expected surrounding bouts in professional boxing, but David Haye and Dereck Chisora took it a step too far in a press conference back in February.

The conference was actually being held after a clash between Chisora and Vitali Klitschko in Munich.

But Haye managed to steal attention by goading the heavyweight from the back of the room, prompting Chisora to square up to the Brit.

Punches were thrown and although the pair should have known better than to enter into a brawl with the world’s press watching, the conference soon descended into chaos.

Haye did manage to redeem himself slightly when the two fought a grudge match in July and Chisora was resoundingly beaten.

Warning: This video contains strong language

Voula Papachristou

The Greek athlete is another to have learned the dangers of Twitter the hard way.

The
triple-jumper was ejected from the national team and sent home from the
Olympics after making a joke that many deemed offensive.

Her tweet read: ‘With so many Africans in Greece, at least the West Nile mosquitoes will eat home made food!’

Despite
apologising for the tasteless comment, which followed a number of
tweets expressing far-right political views, the Greek Olympic Committee
said her statements had been ‘contrary to the values and ideas of the
Olympic movement,’ and she was sent home.

Greek athlete Voula Papachristou during the women's triple jump in Athens

Greek athlete Voula Papachristou was expelled from the Greek national team at this year's Olympics after tweeting offensive comments

David Nalbandian

There have been few tennis players able to rival John McEnroe’s infamous on-court tantrums.

David Nalbandian did manage to surpass the American in terms of actual damage caused this year however.

In a moment of anger during his final match against Marin Cilic at Queens this summer, the Argentine lashed out at some advertising boards around the chair of a line judge.

Nalbandian underestimated his own strength unfortunately, and ended up being disqualified after the boards went flying into the linesman’s legs, leaving him with a deep cut.

The 30-year-old was fined 6,400 by the ATP for unsportsmanlike conduct, as well as losing his 36,500 prize money.

He offered a sincere apology following the incident, saying: ‘It is a mistake and I have to pay for that.’

Joey Barton

Perhaps not a villain, but more of a village idiot, Barton amused us once again in 2012 with some bizarre press conference antics.

It’s usually his Twitter account that gets people talking. Or violent conduct on the pitch. Or drunken brawls.

Anyway, this year hilarity was caused when Barton appeared in a press conference for Olympic Marseille, and curiously mimicked a French accent.

Earlier in the year there was less amusement when Barton received his second red card of the season for QPR and proceeded to attack Manchester City players, kneeing Sergio Aguero and attempting to head-butt Vincent Kompany.

Barton was typically contrite on Twitter afterwards, tweeting: ‘Still not my proudest moment but who gives a f***, we are safe……….and that is all that matters.’

Joey Barton attacked Manchester City players after receiving his second red card of the season

Joey Barton caused trouble as well as amusement in 2012, attacking Manchester City players after receiving a red card

Eight Olympic badminton players

This was a combined effort at bad behaviour during the Summer Games.

In an attempt to avoid facing harder opponents, four duos tried to make sure they didn’t finish top of their group by losing their last game in the group stage.

A Chinese pair, four players from South Korea and a duo from Indonesia were all dropped from the competition after their poor display of sportsmanship and suffered a severe reaction from a disappointed crowd.

Reading boss Brian McDermott bemoans lack of summer spending

We didn't spend enough! Reading boss McDermott bemoans lack of summer spree

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UPDATED:

23:01 GMT, 14 December 2012

Reading owner Anton Zingarevich did not invest enough in the summer, according to manager Brian McDermott.

The Russian took over the club in May and had the summer to provide funds to prepare them for a return to the Premier League for the first time in four season. But McDermott only spent 5million on defenders Adrian Mariappa and Chris Gunter who both cost 2.5m.

The 51-year-old also took on five players signed for free – including Danny Guthrie and Pavel Pogrebnyak on big wages.

I need money! McDermott wants financial backing in the January transfer window

I need money! McDermott wants financial backing in the January transfer window

But following Reading's dire start to the season, with only one win in the league and sitting second-from-bottom, six points from safety, McDermott is unsure if they spent enough.

He said: 'In the summer time we didn't really invest, possibly we should have done more. We have to find available players that have played and know the level. It's really important. January's coming so we'll see what happens. We've always had a sensible approach to transfers, never spent money particularly.'

Only 17 days before the January transfer window opens the Reading boss is still unsure of the budget he has to spend.

Reading have won just one game this season and are in danger of an immediate return to the Championship

Reading have won just one game this season and are in danger of an immediate return to the Championship

He is seeking talks with Zingarevich when he is next in the country to discuss plans to improve the squad but admitted there are many factors that will make it difficult to get the players they need.

He added: 'January is never an easy window but I'm going to have a conversation with the owner when he comes across, see where we are, and see who we can get from who's available. My feeling is if you can find two or three players with Premier League experience I think we need to do that. But they're never cheap.

'Whether you can get them is a different story. We're in a situation where we're down where we are.'

Danny Guthrie fined two-weeks wages following no-show at Sunderland

Reading midfielder Guthrie fined two weeks' wages after showdown talks following no-show at Sunderland

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UPDATED:

17:53 GMT, 12 December 2012

Reading midfielder Danny Guthrie has been fined two weeks' wages after refusing to make the 600-mile round trip to face Sunderland last night.

The former Newcastle player, who is believed to earn 20,000-a-week was hauled in for showdown talks with manager Brian McDermott.

Two hundred and twenty-seven Reading supporters made the journey north, many of whom had to take a day off work but Guthrie said he was not in the right mental state to face a return to the North East.

Not on the bus: Reading's Danny Guthrie (left) did not make the trip to Wearside

Not on the bus: Reading's Danny Guthrie (left) did not make the trip to Wearside

Reading lost 3-0 on Wearside and
afterwards McDermott was unable to hide his disappointment over the
absence of the 25-year-old, who has only played five games for the
Premier League strugglers since his summer move from St James’s Park on a
free transfer.

Guthrie did send a text message to
his manager on Monday night apologising for his refusal to face
Sunderland and the pair will meet today to clear the air ahead of
Reading’s clash with Arsenal this weekend.

McDermott said: 'Danny
Guthrie made a decision that his head wasn’t right to travel. Everybody
has got to be going in the same direction. You have to put yourself in a
position to be selection. His words were that his head isn’t right.

'Was I disappointed He would have
been traveling. Any player has to be part of what we’re about. We can’t
deviate from that. We have to be pulling in the same direction. This is
probably not a conversation for this evening, but it is something we
need to address in the week.'

McDermott meanwhile is hoping owner Anton Zingarevich will invest in new players during next month’s transfer window.

The Reading manager, who dismissed
claims he is facing the sack, has admitted his squad are being stretched
by an injury crisis which forced him to make further changes at
Sunderland last night.

But he is urging Zingarevich to help recruit new blood.

Chin up: Brian McDermott saw his side sink to their fifth straight defeat

Chin up: Brian McDermott saw his side sink to their fifth straight defeat

McDermott said: 'We didn’t invest in
the summer. We all know January is a difficult month and it will be down
to the owner to see where we’re at.

'We’re in such a strong position
financially whatever happens. We want to get out of this and we have to
do everything in our power to do that. My view is that we’ve got to do
what we’ve got to do. We have a choice.'

On target: The returning Steven Fletcher hit Sunderland's second at the Stadium of Light

On target: The returning Steven Fletcher hit Sunderland's second at the Stadium of Light

Kick It Out chairman Lord Herman Ouseley says football lacks morality

You should have sacked Suarez and Terry! Liverpool and Chelsea under attack as Kick It Out chief insists football lacks morality over racism

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UPDATED:

09:53 GMT, 11 December 2012

The chairman of the Kick It Out anti-racism campaign Lord Herman Ouseley has accused English football of lacking morality and leadership, and singled out Chelsea and Liverpool over their handling of the John Terry and Luis Suarez controversies.

Describing a turbulent year as ‘12 months wasted in hypocrisy’, Ouseley claims that clubs protect their players simply because of their value, and also attacked the FA and Premier League for failing to show more leadership over the issue.

‘The condemnations have been mealy mouthed,’ he told the Guardian.

Controversy: Terry (centre) was charged by the FA in October for racially abusing Anton Ferdinand (second left)

Controversy: Terry (centre) was charged by the FA in October for racially abusing Anton Ferdinand (second left)

‘There is very little morality in football among the top clubs. You have to send a powerful message that racism is completely unacceptable, but there is a moral vacuum. The big clubs look after their players as assets.’

Ouseley also criticised England manager Roy Hodgson’s decision to take Terry to Euro 2012 and leave out Rio Ferdinand even though the Chelsea defender stood accused of racially abusing Ferdinand’s brother Anton, adding: ‘That hurt the black players the most. They could see nobody speaking up for them, and the establishment seemed to be looking after its favourites.’

‘The big clubs look after their players as assets. There was no bold attitude from them, to say that they would not put up with it.’

Banned: Suarez (left) was punished by the FA for racially abusing Patrice Evra

Banned: Suarez (left) was punished by the FA for racially abusing Patrice Evra

Ouseley believes football’s authorities should have made strong statements of disapproval after Suarez and Terry were found guilty of abusing Patrice Evra and Anton Ferdinand respectively, but added: 'The condemnations have been mealy-mouthed.

Ouseley also criticised Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish and then Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas for supporting their players while their cases were being played out.

‘We were observing the process but the managers were speaking out and sticking up for Luis Suarez and John Terry,’ Ouseley added.

‘The FA should have asserted themselves, said they would not up with people disrespecting the process, but the FA were very slack and weak.’

FA to change penalties after John Terry and Luis Suarez incidents

FA ready to stamp on racists with new punishments for abuse

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UPDATED:

21:54 GMT, 8 December 2012

The FA is ready to introduce mandatory eight-game bans for any racial abuse in the wake of the John Terry affair.

And clubs whose players are repeat offenders could also be charged and fined under new guidelines being drawn up to revamp the FA regulations on combating racism.

The FA's independent disciplinary commission were criticised after only imposing a four-game ban on Chelsea captain Terry after he was found to have racially abused QPR's Anton Ferdinand

Controversy: Chelsea's John Terry (right) was banned for four matches after being found guilty of abusing Anton Ferdinand (centre)

Controversy: Chelsea's John Terry (right) was banned for four matches after being found guilty of abusing Anton Ferdinand (centre)

Liverpool's Luis Suarez only received an eight-game ban after he was ruled to have repeatedly abused Manchester United full-back Patrice Evra.

However, from next season any incident of proven racial abuse will result in at least an eight-game ban, with the possibility of those found guilty missing 10 or 12 matches under discussion.

And a rule which would allow the FA to charge and fine clubs for the actions of their players is a further attempt to ensure clubs communicate the importance of the issue.

Brian McDermott says he has not felt safe in 34 years

I've never felt safe in 34 years, insists Reading boss McDermott after Di Matteo sacking

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UPDATED:

00:11 GMT, 23 November 2012

Reading manager Brian McDermott admitted he has never felt safe in his job during a 34-year career in football.

The 51-year-old was a player for 17 years and has worked as a chief scout, reserve manager, coach and manager since he gave up playing.

And he said: 'I've never ever felt once am I safe. You'd have to ask every manager. Everyone's different I'm sure. I don't feel like that. I've been working in football for a long, long time.

Danger: Brian McDermott says he has never felt safe in his job

Danger: Brian McDermott says he has never felt safe in his job

'I've enjoyed working in football for a long time and hopefully I can continue working in football for a long time, in whatever capacity. I've been a chief scout, I've been a reserve manager, I've been a coach. I've done all the jobs.'

McDermott has been at Reading for 11 years and been their manager since 2009. He took them up in his second full season in charge.

But he does not believe there is any point dwelling on job safety and added: 'I honestly don't look at it like that. If I have to come into work thinking “am I safe” then what's the point I just come into work, I love coming to work, I enjoy going to work and working with the people but I'm not going to lie up awake in bed at night thinking “am I safe”.'

Roman Abramovich forced Roberto Di Matteo to play Fernando Torres – a point of friction between the pair before he was sacked on Wednesday. But McDermott said he has never been put in that position by Reading owner Anton Zingarevich and would go out of his way to defy an owner if he did.

He added: 'If someone said to me if you don't play him you're sacked then I'd put him in the team. It's a no-brainer. Anton would never put me in that position. There might be other owners, I have heard of that before. He wouldn't put me in that position, and owners shouldn't do that.

Out: Roberto Di Matteo was fired by ruthless Roman Abramovich

Out: Roberto Di Matteo was fired by ruthless Roman Abramovich

'Everybody's in it together. That's my view. If you've got a situation there's an owner and it's him and us it doesn't work. Anton is very much part of what we're doing here and he's one of us.

'I've known him for a short time but he came to preseason with us, he joined in. He's very much part of it. I don't see it as an issue if the owner chats to a player.

'We're all in it together. That's the whole philosophy of our club over a long period of time and we've been pretty successful for not a particularly big club in this division.'

Mark Hughes vows to fight on at QPR

Harry come and save us! Fans call for Hughes to go but QPR boss vows to fight on

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UPDATED:

18:57 GMT, 17 November 2012

Under-fire manager Mark Hughes bemoaned the worst display of his QPR tenure but vowed to fight on after defeat to fellow strugglers Southampton.

Much was made of the game's importance to the future of both the Welshman and Saints boss Nigel Adkins, whose side headed to Loftus Road a point and a place better off than the hosts.

QPR, though, failed to turn up and went off at half-time to a chorus of boos, having deservedly fallen behind to Rickie Lambert and Jason Puncheon goals.

Come in, Harry: Mark Hughes has vowed to fight on at QPR despite the fans turning on him

Come in, Harry: Mark Hughes has vowed to fight on at QPR despite the fans turning on him

Come in, Harry: Mark Hughes has vowed to fight on at QPR despite the fans turning on him

Junior Hoilett clawed one back four minutes into the second half but Southampton ensured a 3-1 victory courtesy of a late Anton Ferdinand own goal, leaving the Rs without a win this season and their manager under increasing pressure.

Asked if it was the worst QPR performance of his time in charge, Hughes said, 'Yes, without a shadow of a doubt.

'Today there was not that intensity. We weren't on the front foot, we weren't anticipating anything, we weren't aggressive enough. All the fundamentals that you need to build a performance [were not there].

'Maybe the anxiety of the significance of the game filtered through to them but, come on, the vast majority of them are very experienced.

'It shouldn't affect them in that manner and it surprised me that possibly it did. I can well understand the reaction [from the fans]. In fairness, it was exactly my reaction to that performance.

'We are not going to hide or try to make it positive out of a very big negative because it was a huge game for everybody connect with Queens Park Rangers, including myself, players, staff and fans.

'We have not performed, unfortunately, so when that happens it puts us in a situation that no-one anticipated this year but we are where we are.'

QPR chairman Tony Fernandes has previously been forthright in his public backing of Hughes, who insists he has no intention of walking away.

'I don't run away from challenges,' he said. 'This is a huge challenge. It was a huge challenge in January when I undertook it.

'There weren't too many people queuing up when I decided it was the right role for me. I knew it was going to be problematic. We all understood that.

Out of ideas: Try as they might, QPR just couldn't find a way back against Southampton

Out of ideas: Try as they might, QPR just couldn't find a way back against Southampton

'This year we obviously had real expectations and I was quite prepared to raise expectations because I thought we would have a good season.

'It hasn't quite happened, unfortunately, and because we have raised expectations more people are disappointed.'

Some QPR fans held up a sign saying 'Harry, come and save us', referring to former Tottenham boss Redknapp, and Southampton boss Adkins feels for the pressure today's result heaps on his opposite number.

'It's obviously my first year in the Barclays Premier League and you understand now the media attention intensifies,' he said.

'But Mark's a good guy, and you're always going to have the intensity of it. You understand that and you get on with it.'

Adkins looked relieved by the result in the post-match press conference and lauded his players' for their impressive display in west London.

'It was a good performance from us again today and it culminated in the three points we were after,' he said. 'I think it shows a good growing maturity about the players as well. We've come away from home and picked up three good points.

Net gains: Ricky Lambert got the ball rolling for Saints as they eased the pressure on Nigel Adkins

Net gains: Ricky Lambert got the ball rolling for Saints as they eased the pressure on Nigel Adkins

'You're in the Premier League and every game brings its own pressures, its own demands. We're after winning games of football. We're after developing the players.

'You could see again that we have players that are maturing all the time. There were some really good performances.

'We had a good defensive shape about ourselves today. We know we can score goals, we scored three goals away from home.

'There is a confidence growing all the time amongst the players we've got. In the Premier League, you're always going to get the media attention and when you're at the top or the bottom it is only going to intensify.'

Asked if he thinks the result helps to relief the pressure on his own position, Adkins added: 'I am a manager in the Premier League.

'You guys (the media) are always going to keep the pressure on everybody.'

Mark Clattenburg race-row latest: Referee unlikely to be charged with FA to finally make announcement tomorrow

Clattenburg race-row D-day: Referee unlikely to be charged with FA to finally make announcement tomorrow
Delay due to lawyers pouring over draft documentFA spend significant sum on legal adviceChelsea stand by 'monkey' allegationsClub's reputation to be left in tatters

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UPDATED:

12:45 GMT, 14 November 2012

The Football Association will tomorrow make their announcement on the action they will take over Mark Clattenburg race-row allegations — Sportsmail understands they are unlikely to charge the referee.

FA officials have spent a significant sum on legal advice and taken their time in order to come to the right decision.

The announcement will come 18 days after Clattenburg was accused of calling Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel a ‘monkey’.

Referee Mark Clattenburg (centre) in an exchange with John Obi Mikel (right) as Juan Mata looks on during the home league match against Manchester United

Eye of the storm: Referee Mark Clattenburg (centre) in an exchange with John Obi Mikel (right) as Juan Mata looks on during the home league match against Manchester United. The official has been accused of racially abusing Mikel

The police yesterday shelved their race abuse investigation into referee Mark Clattenburg after receiving no complaint from Chelsea.

The Metropolitan Police have confirmed they are no longer investigating a complaint, made by the Society of Black Lawyers, regarding Clattenburg’s conduct.

The FA inquiry finished on Friday and they have since been receiving legal opinion on a draft document.

It has been delayed due to the vast amount of paperwork involved.

Chelsea submitted 1,250 pages of evidence delivered by bike courier to the FA’s three-man compliance unit when John Terry was accused of racially abusing Anton Ferdinand — a charge he was later found guilty of by the FA.

Poster boys: United fans poke fun at the famous Chelsea banner, which reads 'JT, captain, leader, legend', during the Capital One Cup tie

Poster boys: United fans poke fun at the famous Chelsea banner, which reads 'JT, captain, leader, legend', during the Capital One Cup tie

They have a full-time QC amongst their employees and it is believed the club will have been equally as thorough with this case.

If, as expected, Clattenburg, 37, is cleared by the FA it will leave Chelsea's reputation in tatters after their captain John Terry was banned for four matches and
fined 220,000 after being found guilty of racially abusing QPR's Anton
Ferdinand by a Football Association independent regulatory commission.

Hours after reporting Clattenburg to the FA, a spectator in the Chelsea end was pictured directing a 'monkey' gesture at Manchester United striker Danny Welbeck during a Capital One Cup tie.

Gavin Kirkham, 28, is on police bail pending a further investigation following his arrest on suspicion of a racially aggravated Section 4A Public Order Act offence.

Chelsea have banned him from Stamford Bridge until the police investigation is concluded and he faces a life-ban if found guilty.

Whistleblower: Chelsea have stood by their allegation that Clattenburg (right) used inappropriate language in an exchange with Mikel

Whistleblower: Chelsea have stood by their allegation that Clattenburg (right) used inappropriate language in an exchange with Mikel

Mr Kirkham is due back in police custody on November 29 where he will either be charged and will go to court, re-bailed pending further investigation or released without charge.

Clattenburg has not officiated in a match since the incident. But some refereeing experts have suggested he will be handed a last-minute match in the lower leagues this weekend in an under-the-radar bid to assimilate the Durham official back into officiating.

Chelsea chairman: Bruce Buck

Chelsea chairman: Bruce Buck

The incident occurred in Chelsea’s 3-2 Barclays Premier League loss to Manchester United on October 28. Chelsea came from two goals behind to level at 2-2 before having Branislav Ivanovic and Fernando Torres sent off.

Afterwards Chelsea accused Clattenburg of the racial slur on Mikel – who angrily stormed into his dressing room and confronted him after the match – and of calling Juan Mata a ‘Spanish t***’.

The club later dropped the accusation against Mata but pressed ahead and reported the comment about Mikel to the FA.

Yesterday, in an interview with the Evening Standard, Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck stood by the club's allegation levelled at Clattenburg.

'We
were guided by obligations that are imposed by the Football Association
and also as an employer. FA rule E14 basically says a participant shall
immediately report to the association any incident or matter which may
be considered to be a misconduct.

'Misconduct
is a defined term under the FA regulations and includes such racial
behaviour. We also had to consider the Equality Act 2010, which imposes
an obligation on an employer to take certain actions if an employee is
subject to discrimination by third parties.

'Suppose
we had tried to sweep this under the rug and said to the various
players, “Look, it's not a big deal and the press are going to be all
over us, maybe you want to reconsider”. If that had leaked out, we
would've really been crucified.'

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