18 September 2014 18:14
Mark Hughes is preparing to face a hostile reception when he returns to QPR with his Stoke City side in the Premier League on Saturday.
The Welshman suffered a torrid 10 months in charge at Loftus Road during 2012, and left under a cloud following a poor start to the 2012-13 campaign in which QPR failed to win their first 12 matches.
Ahead of his first return to the club since then, the 50-year-old is expecting the home fans to make their feelings known in the capital.
“It was a difficult period,” he said. “It was frustrating, and I will be honest and say that the record in the second season wasn’t anywhere good enough.
“As a virtue of that I lost my job there. It was a difficult time for me. We were all trying to pull in the same direction. None of us wanted to hurt the club, we all wanted to improve and move forward, but unfortunately we weren’t able to do that in the manner I would have liked.
“I’m a big guy and I have had a lot of stick from a lot of people in the game. QPR fans may want to vent their frustrations at me and I will take it on my shoulders.”
Hughes’ successor, Harry Redknapp, hopes the QPR fans do not turn on their former manager.
“I hope he gets a good reception,” he said. “He’s a top manager.
“They did okay in his first year here then they had a difficult second season, we’ve all had that. He’s doing an excellent job at Stoke, the same as he has done at most clubs he has been at.”
Stoke have taken all of their four points on the road, including a 1-0 win at champions Manchester City, while the hosts have three points to their name courtesy of a 1-0 victory over Sunderland in their last home encounter.
“Stoke are a strong side, they went to Manchester City and won, not many teams will do that,” Redknapp added.
“I saw them at [home to] Leicester and I thought they played ever so well. It will be a tough game but I think we have a chance against anybody at home.”
Redknapp revealed that Sandro struggled with cramp in the 4-0 thrashing at Manchester United last Sunday but should be fine for Saturday, while Joey Barton (hamstring) and Jordon Mutch (knock) both missed the game at Old Trafford and remain doubtful.
The visitors have concerns over Jonathan Walters (calf), Erik Pieters (knock) and Marko Arnautovic (foot), while Geoff Cameron is sidelined after undergoing a hernia operation, but Hughes is hopeful Stephen Ireland will be available after being troubled by a rib injury.