Belfast Telegraph

Hughes defends move to rest star pair

Mark Hughes is certain he made the right decision to leave Bobby Zamora and Joey Barton out of QPR's 2-0 defeat at Manchester United.

Zamora has been struggling with a virus, while Barton was one booking away from picking up a two-match suspension and given that Rangers now face two points-winning chances against Swansea and West Brom, Hughes felt there was little to be gained from pressing them into service.

"I made the decision to ensure he (Zamora) was 100% for Wednesday... and we couldn't take the risk with losing Joey for two key games," Hughes said.

On paper, the Swansea and West Brom games offer Rangers the best opportunities they will have of picking up wins to take them clear of relegation trouble.

Given that midfielder Shaun Derry was sent off at Old Trafford and will need to be successful in his appeal to feature against Swansea, Barton's availability is even more crucial.

Hughes added: "Given the circumstances with Shaun, I am reasonably pleased with how those two decisions [on Zamora and Barton] worked out."

Meanwhile, Hughes has welcomed midfielder Alejandro Faurlin back to the club as he continues his rehabilitation from the cruciate knee injury he suffered in January which has ruled him out of the rest of the season.

"It was good to see him," said Hughes. "He is progressing well.

"He will probably go back to Spain for another week next week but after that he will do his rehab here."

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