Hughes aiming for the top at QPR

Hughes aiming for the top at QPR

Published Jan. 15, 2012 7:15 a.m. ET

New Rangers boss Hughes and chief executive Philip Beard have revealed becoming champions is the "ultimate" ambition for the club and owners Tony Fernandes and Amit Bhatia.

Hughes noted similarities between the QPR he took charge of this week and the Chelsea he joined as a player in 1995, although he played down direct comparisons.

"Yes, I can see that but I don't think we are trying to emulate that," said Hughes, whose first goal is to steer Rangers away from the Barclays Premier League relegation zone.

"You've got to have ambitions - that's the key to it, and it's going to be a long road with a few bumps along the way.


"But we're prepared for that."

Asked if winning the title was the club's ultimate target, he added: "If I am still here in the next five or 10 years then we will be speaking of that stage but we're not at that stage."

Beard said: "It has to be the ultimate goal for a football club.

"I joined QPR because I listened to what Tony Fernandes and Amit Bhatia are trying to do here and I think I can help in developing the club off the pitch by building a new training ground and looking at plans for building a new stadium.

"It's crazy to speculate how long it will take to get to the stage where you're competing necessarily for a Champions League place or a title.

"If you don't have those dreams and goals, there's not much point in doing that (building a stadium)."

Rangers' medium-term ambitions are more realistic.

Beard said: "I tried to match us up against quite a few clubs.

"In terms of clubs that I have looked at that have got to the Premier League and have stayed there, Stoke is a good model.

"I don't think we can directly compare ourselves with Chelsea or Arsenal yet in London, so Fulham is a benchmark in that it's very close."

QPR missed the deadline for signing new players before Sunday's trip to Newcastle, having had bids rejected for Steven Pienaar, Christopher Samba and Andy Johnson.

Today saw Chelsea deny agreeing a fee with them for the sale of defender Alex.

Rangers sources suggested this morning their west London rivals had accepted a bid for the wantaway Brazilian but the Blues later insisted that was not the case.

Manager Andre Villas-Boas said: "I'm sure that the clubs can reach an agreement if they continue to push.

"We know Alex's market value and we're just not going to let him go quite easily, not that QPR's offer is far, far off."

Hughes will also be without key men Joey Barton (suspended), Alejandro Faurlin (out for the season), Adel Taraabt and Armand Traore (both on African Nations Cup duty) on Sunday but left the rest of his squad in no doubt what was expected.

"My values and my standards are quite high," Hughes said.

"I've found sometimes when I go in at places, people need to raise their game a bit more."

The last two years have seen Hughes spend more time out of the game than it after his sacking at Manchester City and controversial decision to quit Fulham.

"When you're out of football, you frustrate your wife and your kids because you always want the football on (the television)," he said.

"It's very easy to keep watching and pick up information."

Hughes has improved the fortunes of every team he has taken charge of, from Wales to Blackburn to City to Fulham.

"I think people see me know as a confident Premier League manager," he said.

"I hope after my time here I'll become a great Premier League manager."

QPR will be hoping the same, with their decision to sack Neil Warnock on Sunday seen as harsh in some quarters.

When it was pointed out League Managers' Association statistics show a January change of boss is no guarantee off success, Beard said: "There is no absolute that you change manager and think you'll significantly get better.

"I would back our judgement that bringing Mark Hughes here with his background can help us significantly."