Opinion: Time running out for Hughes to turn QPR around

The draw between QPR and Reading did little for either team, but Adrian Houghton believes it demonstrates just how much trouble the former is in
GOAL.com Indonesia   OPINION

Queens Park Rangers and Reading had to settle for a point in a 1-1 draw at Loftus Road on Sunday.

Striker Djibril Cisse cancelled out Royals defender Kaspar Gorkss's acrobatic first-half effort to earn his team a point – a result that neither could be happy with at full-time.

It meant both sides still remain the only club's without a win in the league this season.

And although they both wallow in the relegation zone, their stories are distinctly different in terms of personnel and ambition.

QPR owner Tony Fernandes fueled a net outlay of £30.2 million for new purchases in the past year.

Reading, on the other hand, spent just over £5 million in the transfer window.

QPR manager Mark Hughes has experienced top-flight players in the ranks, whereas Royals boss Brian McDermott's squad is predominately made up of Championship players.

It then comes as no surprise that Reading is struggling to assert themselves in the top-flight.

Most pundits believed their quality was scarce and ultimately surviving the drop would be a difficult task, but it is still early.

At home to Norwich in their next outing, McDermott and his men will fancy their chances of victory and trying to pull away from the relegation battle.

For the beleaguered Hughes, he was afforded the miniscule consolation of seeing his side lift themselves off the bottom of the table.  

However, it will do little to lift the doom and gloom surrounding Loftus Road.

The big-money forays into the transfer window has done little to lift Rangers out of the Premier League's strugglers.

Fernandes has handed Hughes and the club's coaching staff significant financial investment.

A whole host of second-string and average players were shipped out and replaced by a mixture of youth and experience.

The purchases include Andy Johnson, Jose Bosingwa, Fabio, Esteban Granero, Park Ji-Sung, Julio Cesar, Ryan Nelsen, Junior Hoilett, Sam Magri and Stephane M'bia.

That group includes Champions League winners among six who have participated in the continental competition, players who have won English Premier League, La Liga and Serie A titles and a host of others with proven top-flight football quality.

Add to that list the buys from last January's transfer window in Cisse from Lazio and former Fulham striker Bobby Zamora and the London outfit resemble a team fit for mid-table honours.

A net outlay of £30.2 million - including CIsse and Zamora - is a substantial figure for a club daring of lofty heights, bearing in mind a host of free-transfer coups in Bosingwa and Cesar in particular.

Fernandes said in response to a supporter on Twitter over a month ago: "Keep calm. Six games does not make a season. I have learnt from many wise chairmen."

But the club has now played ten games and has a measly four points to show for it.  The backing of Hughes can surely only stretch so far.

Since the appointment of the 49-year-old, he has winning ratio of only 25 percent from 32 games.

Post-match, the former Manchester United striker resembled a man clutching at straws rather than a firm believer.

"The key is the first win and once we get that we can settle down and play our football," Hughes told journalists, with a huge trip to Stoke City to come on Saturday.

But in an unforgiving place like the English Premier League, patience can be stretched thin and results will be paramount in the coming weeks - both for Hughes and QPR.

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