QPR boss Hughes defends Zamora's lack of footballing interest

The Hoops forward revealed he rarely follows the game off the pitch, but his manager has explained the comments and praised his attitude as the club seek their first league win
QPR manager Mark Hughes defended Bobby Zamora after the striker admitted to a lack of interest in football away from the pitch.

The 31-year-old signed from Fulham in January, helping the west London club avoid relegation last season and has netted three goals so far this term.

The forward told The Daily Mail: "I’m not a massive football fan, really. Quite a lot more players than let on are the same. I don’t watch games on an evening or anything like that.

"For so many years football has been your life and it’s all everyone wants to talk about, everywhere you go. I don’t like talking about it.

"A lot of people find it strange. I’m not sure what I want to do after I finish playing but if it means watching football then I don’t want to get involved."

His comments had drawn the ire of former Chelsea, Marseille, and Republic of Ireland player Tony Cascarino, who wrote in his Daily Mail column: "Bobby Zamora should hang up his boots.

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"I assure you, players like him are few and far between. If your heart's not in it, Bobby, get out of the game."

But the striker has been defended by Hughes, who insists that the 31-year-old's performances have not been affected by his indifference to the wider game.

Hughes told reporters: "I don't think his attitude to watching football matches has affected his career.

"If there was any issue in terms of his application on a daily basis and on a match day he still wouldn't be a professional football player.

"The game is full of individuals who have a view on the game of football. Some really enjoy it and will stay in the game when they finish and others will walk off into the sunset and not look back.

"That doesn't mean their attitude to their work on a daily basis while they're a professional footballer will change.

"Bobby's a good player and affects the game at the highest level. The fact that he doesn't enjoy sitting down and watching others play for 90 minutes shouldn't surprise people.

"The point Bobby was making is that he doesn't enjoy sitting in front of the TV watching football matches.”

Zamora had in any case praised the Welshman in his original interview, where he commented: "Mark is loyal, I wouldn’t have come to QPR if he hadn’t been there.

"He’s a good character and he’s done everything in the game. He’s very professional, has all the stats, video analysis and made the right signings."