Hughes has faith in Johnson
QPR boss Mark Hughes has backed Andy Johnson to return stronger than ever from the injury which has ruled him out for most of the season.
Last Updated: 18/09/12 2:07pm
QPR manager Mark Hughes has backed striker Andy Johnson to return stronger than ever from the knee injury which has ruled him out for most of the season.
The injury-prone forward suffered anterior cruciate ligament damage during Saturday's goalless draw with Chelsea and had to be substituted before half-time.
The news strikes a big blow after the 31-year-old only joined the Hoops in the summer from Fulham but Hughes is confident Johnson will come through the setback even stronger.
He told QPR's official website: "He is mentally a very, very strong character.
"He has been through long-term injuries before and always comes back stronger and I have no doubts that he will do the same again.
"He will get the best treatment and best support from the medical staff here and we will make sure we get him back as quickly as possible without ever compromising him. We will make sure he is fit and well when he returns."
Manager Hughes admits Johnson's absence is particularly tough to take after he made a bright start to life at Loftus Road, setting up Bobby Zamora for his goal at Manchester City.
"He was playing exceptionally well at the time and had been in previous games so to lose his experience and ability is a blow to us," Hughes admitted.
"People understood why I wanted to bring AJ to the club. He has got fantastic energy and you need those types of players in your squad."
QPR were big spenders in the summer transfer window and Hughes believes the injury to Johnson, as well as the hamstring problems suffered by Anton Ferdinand and Fabio, proves that strength in depth is essential.
"We said from the outset we were looking for at least two quality players in each position and we are nearly there," he said.
"When you suffer injuries in the team you want the quality to stay at the same level and hopefully we can do that. We have got good quality to come in.
"It just shows the value of the work we did during the transfer window. When injuries and suspensions occur, we are prepared."