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Bowen defends sacked Hughes

Queens Park Rangers caretaker Mark Bowen defended the legacy of sacked manager Mark Hughes following a 3-1 loss to Manchester United.

Hughes was relieved of his duties on Friday, leaving Bowen and fellow first-team coach Eddie Niedzwiecki to take charge of the struggling team during their daunting trip to Old Trafford.

Former Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United manager Harry Redknapp has already been appointed to succeed Hughes, charged with guiding QPR to Premier League safety.

Speaking after their latest defeat on Saturday, Bowen defended the high turnover of players during Hughes’ brief tenure at Loftus Road.

“People ask me what went wrong but when this club stayed up on the last day of last season, clubs like Southampton and Reading had a better squad than us,” said Bowen.

“They had players who had been together and had success together.

“At times we have been criticised for the number of players who have left.

“Not one player we have let go is anywhere near the Premier League now.

“We have brought good players into the club. I have seen it every day in training. Maybe at times a few of the lads have been found wanting.”

Bowen also dismissed rumours Hughes stormed out of the training ground after being informed of his imminent dismissal by QPR chief executive Philip Beard.

“We were preparing for training and putting our ideas together about what we were going to do when Philip knocked on the door,” he said.

“No-one was called over. It was all handled with dignity.”

Redknapp watched his new team go down to goals from Javier Hernandez, Jonny Evans and Darren Fletcher, but Bowen said the incoming manager had not influenced proceedings.

“I have not spoken to Harry and he has not spoken to the players,” he said.

“It has been difficult.

“Football is an emotive game and yesterday was a desperate day. Mark is my friend.

“I just said I would prepare the team to give everything it has got.”

Sat 24 November, 2012
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