Hughes has track record to lead QPR into Premier League top ten

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Rewind back 12 months and much was similar for Mark Hughes, managing a team on the periphery of the Premier League relegation places with hopes of improvement.

Move forward until the end of last season and things were looking much rosier at Fulham, as not only was relegated successfully avoided but the club finished a more than respectable eighth, losing just three of their 14 games from the start of February.

QPR are currently three points worse off than Fulham were after 22 games last season, but there is every reason to believe that with Hughes at the helm, they can also take strides into the top ten.

In terms of budget, Hughes has far more spending power at QPR, with some high-profile names already being linked with a move to Loftus Road in the final week before the closing of the January transfer window.

Alex and Steven Pienaar are just two players who certainly have expectations greater than facing a relegation battle and would bring ample Premier League experience to QPR.

Meanwhile, other names supposedly on the radar of QPR include Heurelho Gomes, Mauro Zarate, Nico Kranjcar and Chris Samba, while Nedum Onuoha and Taye Taiwo have reportedly already signed.

It is unlikely that more than three of these will arrive, but with Adel Taarabt reportedly keen to stay on at the club after a miserable few months under Neil Warnock, he could be classified as a new signing after an uneventful opening period to the campaign.

However, the big point to mention is that Hughes very rarely fails in his managerial posts.

Only once to date as Hughes failed to lead a team to top-half Premier League finish and this was in his first season at Blackburn in 2005.

Ten teams are currently odds-on in the Premier League odds to finish in the top half this season, with Sunderland the only club offering any realistic value at 4/7.

QPR are currently only seven points off tenth spot and given Hughes’ track record and their superior spending budget in relation to the teams around them, 8/1 for the Welshman to lead them into the top half seems a price too good to turn down.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.