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Hughes adamant over QPR's survival after Everton draw

The Loftus Road boss also defended Adel Taarabt after the forward's mistake led to David Moyes' side's goal on Saturday

Mark Hughes is adamant QPR can retain their Premier League status following their 1-1 draw with Everton on Saturday.

QPR are level on points with 18th-placed Blackburn Rovers but are out of the relegation zone on goal difference, but when asked whether his team can beat the drop this term, Hughes insisted his side have shown encouraging signs since he took charge in January.

Today I saw more qualities that I expect from teams I am in charge of," said Hughes.

“It's taken a little while but I saw things and I was encouraged by things that really illustrated what I've been trying to get over.

“I've been in this league for a  long time and understand what it takes to win league games.

“I sensed today that there was a real understanding of what was required and that it what we'll have to have from now until the end of the season.”

Hughes also praised QPR owner Tony Fernandes and insists the two have a good working relationship.

“He's great, as a guy and as an individual," said Hughes.

“He's a very successful businessman but he's very people oriented and very much in tune and wants to engage with the fans here.

“I think people respond to that and that's why his business has grown like it has and that's why this club will grow because they have somebody at the top of the pile who wants to make things happen – we're pleased he's here.”

Adel Taarabt perhaps highlighted the change in attitude under Hughes' management. At times Taarabt was at his mercurial best but in conceding possession in his own half, he effectively cost the home side the opening goal.

Hughes said: “He's held his hands up. He's still a young player, still learning the game.

“The reason he tries things is because he's a talented guy and he wants to affect the game and make things happen for the team.

“His place to do that is on the football field and he just picked the wrong opportunity to show his ability and was caught out.

“He kept on trying to do the right things and I think that shows the difference in Adel and his time before I came to the club.

“I think he understands the responsibility that he has now.”

It took Taarabt just five minutes to make amends, winning the free kick that led to the home side's equaliser and Hughes is keen to allow the Moroccan the freedom to create chances.

“I will give him license to create in key areas of the field.

“Unfortunately he got caught out today but he'll learn from it and bounce back and affect his game going the other way which he did with the resulting free kick.

“That's why I will always try and get him in the team because he will always make things happen and you have to have players like that in the Premier League.”