Boss wary of rejuvenated R's

Boss wary of rejuvenated R's

Published Jan. 20, 2012 7:15 p.m. ET

Martinez's side are the first home opponents for their fellow strugglers in the Barclays Premier League since the appointment of Mark Hughes as manager at Loftus Road.

The London club last week joined bottom side Wigan in the relegation zone, but Martinez does not expect former Blackburn, Manchester City and Fulham boss Hughes to take long to make his mark.

Martinez said: "We wouldn't like to choose to be playing against an opposition playing at home with a new manager because expectations are huge and you know it is going to be a tough, tough game.

"A new manager coming in always gives a team a lift. They will expect a bit of momentum and a real high-intensity performance.


"But in many ways I feel we are ready to go anywhere in the Barclays Premier League and be ourselves.

"We pushed Manchester City until the end and played very hard to get a positive result. That is very pleasing.

"Individually, some of the players are growing and getting stronger. All the signs are there for a very strong end to the season.

"We are looking for perfection because for a club like us, to achieve what we want to achieve, we have to be perfect in every game we go into.

"This is going to be a difficult test but in many ways we are looking forward to it."

Hughes suffered defeat in his first match as QPR boss at Newcastle last week before claiming a narrow victory over League One Milton Keynes Dons in the FA Cup.

They are 18th in the Premier League, just two points better off than Wigan, but Martinez has seen danger signs.

The Spaniard said: "They played really well against Newcastle.

"They are a team that work very hard and they stopped Newcastle from having much going forward. It was a very strong performance.

"Now you see two teams in desperate need of points.

"I don't think any team gains any advantage from the situation and we have to give everything for the three points."

While Martinez does take encouragement from his side's battling loss to Manchester City on Monday, he does feel they could have played even better.

He said: "I don't think we are afraid to say it as it is.

"In the first half we did many good things and for many people that would be enough against the league leaders.

"But for us, I don't think we were as good as we can be.

"In the second half we were. We were competitive and very good on the ball."

Wigan beat QPR 2-0 in their third game of the season at the DW Stadium in August.

It was a result which gave rise to optimism after draws in the opening two games but much has changed since.

Amid Wigan's slump in form was a run of eight successive defeats while expectations at QPR were revised after a change of owner.

Martinez said: "They have had numerous experiences in this league now, so we are facing a completely different side, especially now with a new manager.

"We had to deal with a bad period earlier in the season and we are where we are because of that. Hopefully that bad time is out of the way.

"We know that we can't look at the table until May. We are focusing our work on trying to get as many points as we can. Then we will see where we are in the table.

"But the margins are very small and the difference between winning and losing at this level is down to specific details. Then two wins - six points - make a huge difference.

"What is quite clear now is that we are going into the next 17 games understanding that every point gets bigger and is more significant.

"It is not a big secret that when you play against teams that are in a similar position to you in the table that those points become more important."