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QPR approach Redknapp after sacking Hughes

LONDON (AFP) –

Mark Hughes is pictured at the Premier League games against Southampton at Loftus Road on November 17

Mark Hughes is pictured at the Premier League games against Southampton at Loftus Road on November 17. Queens Park Rangers have opened talks with Harry Redknapp about replacing Hughes as manager, Redknapp’s management company revealed on Friday.

Queens Park Rangers have opened talks with Harry Redknapp about replacing Mark Hughes as manager, Redknapp’s management company revealed on Friday.

“Contact has been made between QPR and us as Harry Redknapp’s representatives,” said a spokesman from Triple S Sports and Entertainment. “Talks will be beginning shortly.”

Hughes was dismissed as QPR head coach earlier on Friday, 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 (Friday) terminated the contract of manager Mark Hughes with immediate effect,” the club announced on their official Twitter page.

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.

Tony Fernandes, at a news conference for his AirAsia airline in Jakarta in July 2012

Tony Fernandes, at a news conference for his AirAsia airline in Jakarta in July 2012. Mark Hughes had received backing from Fernandes, QPR’s owner, but last weekend’s 3-1 loss at home to fellow strugglers Southampton left them five points adrift of safety.

“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.

“The Board will now be working actively to put a new managerial structure in place as soon as possible.

“Mark Bowen and Eddie Niedzwiecki will take charge of the R’s trip to Manchester United in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon.

“The club will be making a further announcement in due course.”

The London side then cancelled a media conference that had been scheduled to take place on Friday afternoon.

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

The 49-year-old Welshman had only been in the role since January, but found himself the subject of sustained media scrutiny as he struggled to turn QPR’s season around.

Harry Redknapp, pictured at White Hart Lane in May 2012

Harry Redknapp, pictured here in May 2012, who left Tottenham Hotspur at the end of last season, was quickly installed as the bookmakers’ favourite to succeed Hughes, despite being linked to the vacant managerial position with the Ukrainian national team.

Hughes signed several new players in the summer but the team have under-performed badly and the former Fulham manager was the target of anger from fans during the loss against Southampton.

Fernandes used Twitter later on Friday to explain the decision to part ways with Hughes.

“Though we have a change the long term vision of the club remains, and much good work has already been done and will continue,” he wrote.

“This is a club where the chairman and shareholders look at all things in a long term view. But also take the views of the fans who are the most important constituents of the club. To us fans come first.”

Redknapp, 65, was sacked by Tottenham Hotspur in June.

He has been working in an advisory role at League One (third-tier) Bournemouth, but was recently linked to the vacant managerial position with the Ukrainian national team.

When asked by the BBC if he would be attending Saturday’s game at Old Trafford as a guest of QPR, he said: “We will have to wait and see.”

After their trip to Manchester, QPR face three games against teams in the bottom six.

A trip to Sunderland on Tuesday is followed by a home game against Aston Villa and a clash with Wigan Athletic at the DW Stadium.

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