Hughes to remain in the QPR hotseat

With nearly a third of the season gone Hughes still has to oversee a victory for the London outfit

Mark Hughes remains in charge of QPR despite speculation that he had been sacked.

Rumours started circulating on Twitter that Hughes' 10-month reign at Loftus Road had come to an end after the club's terrible start to the season.

But Kia Joorabchian, who represents Hughes, told the BBC that claims the 45-year-old had been removed from his position were "not true at all". Hughes is expected to take charge of training on Tuesday. 

Winless Rangers are rock bottom of the Barclays Premier League, five points behind 17th-placed Reading, who have a match in hand.

Hughes on Monday met with QPR chief executive Philip Beard - the man chairman Tony Fernandes sent to fire previous manager Neil Warnock - at the club's training ground in west London.

Hughes did not take training today, but the club insist that is common practice as they players were in for a light session.

Having signed 11 first-team players - some of them from Real Madrid, Inter Milan, Chelsea and Manchester United - Hughes was expected to guide Rangers to the top half of the table, but a 3-1 defeat to Southampton on Saturday stretched QPR's winless run to 12 matches.

Rangers then have winnable games against Sunderland, Aston Villa and Wigan, and former QPR striker Rodney Marsh thinks Hughes should be given four matches to prove his worth.

"If I was the owner, I would sit down now and say 'Mark, I am going to give you four games'," Marsh said.

"I would say 'We are in desperate trouble. If we don't improve our league position in four games, I am going to have to make a change."'

Hughes himself pleaded to be given time and even said last Friday that he was convinced he could achieve a mid-table finish this season.

Fernandes, who has given Hughes his unequivocal backing on Twitter in recent weeks, was less forthcoming following Saturday's loss.

He said: "I feel gutted. I have put my heart and soul into this with my other shareholders. And done all we can to give support to players and all management.

"I can only apologise to the QPR fans. we keep fighting.

"Let me tell you Fans come first. Everyone including me let the fans down. Many of us need a hard look at themselves. QPR has amazing fans. They deserve better."

The Malaysian businessman spent the weekend in the United States before heading back home, and he hinted on Twitter that Hughes' position may be on his mind.

"On my way home from amercia," he wrote. "Long long flught to think of many things. Just stopped of at osaka. Now back home to kuala lumpur."

QPR winger Junior Hoilett, another summer import from Blackburn, moved to assure the fans that the players do care and they will put in the hard yards to try to turn things around.

He told www.qpr.co.uk: "The first half just wasn't good enough. We came out second to everything and that's not acceptable.

"I can understand the fans' frustrations. We're as frustrated as they are because we want to change this around and climb the table" - Junior Hoilett

"We got a rollicking from the manager at half-time. We came out strong in the second half but we left ourselves with too much to do to get ourselves back into the game.

"Everybody in the dressing room was hugely disappointed with the result. We're all really disappointed and frustrated with how things are going at the moment, but we will work hard to put it right.

"I can understand the fans' frustrations. We're as frustrated as they are because we want to change this around and climb the table. We've got to stick together as a team."

Hughes' chances of pulling off an unlikely win at Old Trafford have receded further after it emerged that Bobby Zamora may need an operation on his hip injury.

Zamora, QPR's top scorer with three league goals this season, missed the Southampton loss with the injury and may now need to have an operation that would rule him out for a considerable time.