Mark Hughes sacked with Harry Redknapp set to take over

Manager becomes latest sacking, with Harry Redknapp set to take over; meanwhile Ferguson reopens rivalry with Benitez

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 24 November, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 24 November, 2012, 3:06am


Mark Hughes was dismissed as head coach of Queens Park Rangers yesterday, with the club bottom of the Premier League table after failing to win any of their first 12 matches of the season.

"Queens Park Rangers Football Club has today terminated the contract of manager Mark Hughes with immediate effect," the club announced on their official Twitter page.

Harry Redknapp, the former Spurs manager, is expected to replace Hughes, English media reported.

QPR, who avoided relegation on the final day of last season, are the only club in the English league system yet to have won a game.

Hughes had received backing from the club's Malaysian owner, Tony Fernandes, in recent weeks, but last weekend's 3-1 loss at home to fellow strugglers Southampton left them five points adrift of safety.

"This decision has been taken after careful consideration by the Board of Directors, following numerous meetings over the last few days," read a statement on the QPR website.

"Mark has shown integrity and professionalism throughout his time here, but ultimately the circumstances we find ourselves in have left the Board of Directors with very little choice but to make a change.

"Mark Bowen and Eddie Niedzwiecki will take charge of the R's trip to Manchester United on Saturday afternoon."

Hughes is the second Premier League manager to lose his job this season, after Roberto Di Matteo was sacked by Chelsea on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, United manager Alex Ferguson has taken a swipe at Rafael Benitez's appointment at Chelsea after questioning the London club's decision to sack Di Matteo.

There is no love lost between Ferguson and Madrid-born 52-year-old Benitez, who criticised his title rival while in charge of Liverpool in 2009, claiming he was the only manager to avoid punishment from the authorities.

Ferguson was quick to renew his rivalry with Benitez yesterday, springing to the defence of Di Matteo, who masterminded Chelsea's Champions League triumph in May.

The legendary United manager told a news conference in Manchester: "Everyone feels for Roberto Di Matteo, and quite rightly.

"It's quite amazing that you win the FA Cup and the Champions League [and lose your job]. The biggest disappointment for me is that in two weeks' time, they go to the Club World Cup.

"You'd think that they would give the guy the chance to win that.

"Rafa Benitez is very lucky because on his CV in two weeks' time he could have two Club World Championships to his name - and [he had] nothing to do with the teams.

"Jose Mourinho won the treble after going to [Inter] Milan.

"He [Benitez] took over and won the Club World Cup without having to do anything.

"He had nothing to do with the construction of the team and that's where I feel real disappointment for Roberto Di Matteo."

With leaders Manchester City not playing Chelsea until tomorrow, United will return to the top of the table if they defeat QPR, the day after a nine-foot bronze statue of Ferguson was due to be unveiled.