Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Hughes looking to upset odds at Etihad

Mark Hughes

QPR manager Mark Hughes hopes to ruin Manchester City's coronation and secure his own team's Barclays Premier League survival next weekend by becoming the first team to win at the Etihad Stadium this season.

QPR moved two points clear of the relegation zone on Sunday with a dramatic 1-0 win over Stoke that came courtesy of Djibril Cisse's 89th minute strike. Although they remain ahead of 18th place Bolton, the Trotters still could leapfrog Rangers in the season finale next weekend if they beat Stoke and the Londoners lose.

Hughes, who managed City between 2008 and 2009, said: "We haven't covered ourselves in glory this year on the road, but what better time to turn it around?"

The Blues' last home defeat in the league came in December 2010 while Rangers have not won on their travels since last November.

Hughes added: "There will be a huge amount of expectation on the game with them going for the title, but we'll give it our best shot.

"It's unbelievable what this league throws up time and again, but it's in our hands and that's all we can ask for. Obviously results elsewhere could help us out, but we want to go and make it happen ourselves.

"My focus is totally on what we do - I get the feeling we'll be a lot better than we were at Chelsea last week."

In truth, for the vast majority of Sunday's game, QPR looked like an npower Championship team. The west London outfit lacked creativity in midfield, were devoid of any menace up front and looked shaky at the back against a Potters team playing their 55th match of a 10-month long season.

It took the late strike from substitute Cisse to steal all three points for the hosts, and Hughes admits had the Frenchman's strike - his fifth in six starts - not gone in, his team would have almost certainly been relegated.

"It was a huge result," he added. "It was key for us that we got the three points, a draw wouldn't have been enough for us - it would have been too much. The fact we have one more game and have our fate in our own hands is something we are grateful for."

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