HUGHES HAPPY TO HAVE A HOPE
QPR manager Mark Hughes believes the club's recent form has given the West London side a better chance of Barclays Premier League survival than many people would have expected.
The R's face local rivals Chelsea on Sunday afternoon with the game already taking on great significance as QPR defender Anton Ferdinand plays at Stamford Bridge for the first time since he was allegedly racially abused by Chelsea skipper John Terry in October.
Terry, who faces a court case in July after being charged over the matter, has categorically denied any wrongdoing.
Hughes is simply looking towards the game and believes the run of results his side have achieved have come against the odds.
He said: "I think we have given ourselves a chance (to stay up).
"I have said many times in recent weeks that with 10 games to go, given the opposition we had, many people thought we didn't have a cat in hell's chance of navigating through those games and acquiring enough points.
"As it is we are still in a very difficult situation but we still have opportunities to get points on the board, we feel. I think in recent weeks we have shown what we are capable of and when we get it right we are a decent team.
Despite four successive home victories over Tottenham, Swansea, Arsenal and Liverpool, the club's away form has been a constant worry for Hughes.
"In our home games we have been excellent," he said.
"I can't really criticise the players in any way, shape or form in regards to our home fixtures - we have had fantastic support from our fans who have driven us on and we will need their support from the three games we have left.
"We have the issue of our away form we have to address, we have two difficult away games and we want to try and get some positive results from those two games if we can. We have been playing well at home and we just have to transfer that to our away travels."
Chelsea are expected to name a much-changed side from the XI that secured a place in the Champions League final following a hard-fought 2-2 draw against Barcelona on Tuesday but Hughes, who is looking forward to the challenge, does not see Chelsea's squad rotation as a positive for his preparations.
He said: "I think we are all looking forward to it, it is a great local derby. The FA Cup game never got going but given the fact that we are looking to get points from a very difficult fixture and Chelsea are obviously going for Champions League places, and the high they have had given the events of the week, all-in-all I would expect a really good football match.
"It is a little bit difficult to get a handle on who they are going to pick, obviously they have got a big squad and can mix things around.
"Obviously after the exertions and emotions spent in midweek I have no doubt they will use their squad but from my point of view, in terms of planning for individuals who might play, it is more difficult than it might have been."
Hughes has selection doubts over midfielder Samba Diakite and forward Djibril Cisse while playmaker Adel Taarabt is suspended after his red card in the win over Spurs last weekend.
The Morocco international's dismissal was the eighth time this season QPR have been reduced to 10 men but Hughes reckons that figure is not justified.
He said: "In black and white it looks a little bit damning but if you actually look at it some of the sendings-off were very harsh - it is all relative and I just think at times we have been hard done by."
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