QPR v Wigan reaction

QPR v Wigan reaction

Published Jan. 21, 2012 7:15 p.m. ET

Rangers seemed in freefall under Hughes' predecessor Neil Warnock, but the Welshman steered his team out of the relegation zone with a comprehensive 3-1 victory over bottom side Wigan.

Despite an edgy start, Rangers never looked in danger of not recording their first league home win since October as goals from Akos Buszaky, Heidar Helguson and Tommy Smith sealed the victory in front of a jubilant Loftus Road crowd while Hugo Rodallega was on the scoresheet for the visitors.

Rumours of dressing room unrest had dogged Warnock during the latter part of his tenure at the west London club, but Rangers put on a united display today, much to Hughes' pleasure.

"I'm delighted. It was a good performance," Hughes said.


"It's not easy winning Premier League games you give yourself a better chance if you are committed and you work hard. That's what we did today.

"The lads have been working exceptionally hard since I came here. I have only been here two weeks but when you are down near the bottom of the league it's important to show commitment and the right attitude and the lads are doing that so a lot of credit has to go to them.

"It hasn't been easy for them but they have shown character, they have come together as a group and I have sensed there is a real togetherness here."

Rangers' task was made a lot easier when James McCarthy inexplicably handled Joey Barton's corner in the 32nd minute when he realised he could not get across to head the midfielder's in-swinging ball clear.

Helguson made no mistake from 12 yards and the home side dominated the match from then on.

Roberto Martinez, whose Wigan side have won just three times this term, lamented the midfielder's error.

"It was the wrong decision (from McCarthy)," the Spaniard said.

"Somehow he felt that someone was going to get across him and he used his arm to hit the ball. That was a really disappointing decision because it cost us dearly.

"The first goal in this kind of game is always very important and from then on we were a little bit nervous."

Martinez's team remain rooted to the foot of the table and their next fixture is against high-flying Tottenham a week on Tuesday.

The Latics have not been out of the bottom three since October, but their manager is confident his team will avoid the drop once more after flirting with relegation ever since they were promoted in 2005.

"I am really, really confident we will stay up," Martinez said.

"We have to play a lot better than today, though, that's clear. We went through a spell of eight straight defeats but we overcame that. We are ready. There are 16 games to go. We know we need to get eight wins and I feel we are well capable of doing that.

"We will carry on working to try to improve the squad. We had a couple of injuries today and without them we were a bit soft.

"We will use the transfer window to try to help the players we have at the club, but we already have belief and desire to do it."

Hughes has been active in his pursuit of new players since arriving at Loftus Road, with Nedum Onuoha, Taye Taiwo, Alex and Henrique all in talks with the club over potential moves to Loftus Road.

His fringe players did their best to persuade him no new arrivals are needed today, however.

Buszaky curled in a brilliant free-kick on the verge of half-time and Smith's 25-yard rocket sealed the win in the second half. Helguson could have added a second in the second half from the spot but his effort was saved by Ali Al-Habsi.

Hughes was particularly keen to shower praise on Buszaky, a player who was frozen out under Warnock.

"He is a good player. I thought it would be a tight game today and I knew he has ability from set plays. Thankfully it paid off," Hughes added.

The Welshman hopes to sign at least one new addition by the start of next week.

"I will get some updates tomorrow, no doubt," he said.

"I would hope there would be some progress on some of them by Monday."