Hughes has money to spend
Queens Park Rangers owner Tony Fernandes is ready to back Mark Hughes in the transfer market and hopes to make a signing this week.
Last Updated: 11/01/12 12:34pm
Tony Fernandes is ready to back Mark Hughes in the transfer market and hopes to make a signing this week after expressing his delight at the managerial appointment.
Queens Park Rangers confirmed on Tuesday that Hughes had agreed a two-and-a-half-year deal at Loftus Road after Neil Warnock parted company with the club over the weekend.
Owner and chairman Fernandes admits there were other candidates for the role but says the ambition of Hughes made it an easy decision to hand the reins to the Welshman.
And he is confident Hughes will turn around QPR's recent slide down the table and keep them in the Premier League.
"My target has remained the same since the moment I came in, and that is to avoid relegation and build from that," Fernandes told Sky Sports News.
"I think it is a big testament to the fans at QPR and the club generally to be able to attract somebody as great as Mark, and we are very happy with that.
"There were a few (managers) that were pushed our way, but when myself and Amit (Bhatia, vice-chairman) met Mark we felt very good about it.
"There is a burning passion in Mark which I think I have always looked for, which money can't buy, and he is desperate to show what he is capable of."
To help stave off the threat of relegation Hughes will need money to spend in January, and Fernandes will allow the manager to strengthen whichever areas of the squad he wants.
"We have told Mark to come back to us with what he needs. We have some ideas but he is the man in the hotseat," said Fernandes.
Whilst staying coy on the exact budget he will be making available to Hughes, Fernandes admitted he was looking to do some business this week.
Asked about reports linking the club with players such as Didier Drogba, Chris Samba, Bobby Zamora and Wayne Bridge, Fernandes refused to confirm the identity of any targets.
"I'd rather not. It is Mark's call, but there are no names that we are afraid to be linked to, provided it makes sense for the manager and it makes sense for the club," he said.
"We hope we can do something before Newcastle.
"We have been badly hit with the African Cup, Joey's suspension and Ale (Alejandro Faurlin's season-ending injury), so I'd like to, but we are not going to be rushed and Mark has to make sure he gets the right talent at the right price."
Fernandes also spoke again about his sadness at having to relieve Warnock of his duties, having decided that it was time for a change.
"It goes against my personality. I like stability and I have a tremendous amount of respect for Neil," he said.
"I always foresaw a long-term view with him, but I felt it was now or never, because this is the last transfer window and we are going into a very important seven games.
"I just had to make a call and time will tell if it will be the right call. You live and die by those decisions."