Mark Hughes rues QPR defensive failings
Last Updated: September 27, 2012 4:23pm
QPR manager Mark Hughes has warned his players to tighten up defensively if they want to avoid another Premier League relegation battle.
The Welshman says he is happy with most aspects of his side's play in the early stages of the new campaign, but knows they must cut out sloppy errors at the back.
The Hoops, who escaped an instant return to the Championship on the final day of last season, are still waiting to earn their first top-flight victory, with their only win coming against League One minnows Walsall in the League Cup earlier this month.
The 3-0 success handed them a home third-round tie against fellow Premier League strugglers Reading, but they missed an opportunity to clinch a morale-boosting win as the Royals twice came back from behind to win 3-2 on Wednesday.
"We need to be a little bit more understanding of what is required in those key areas of the field"
And Hughes wants to see an improved defensive performance when the west London club returns to top-flight action against West Ham on Monday.
"We have conceded poor goals," he said.
"We need to be a little bit more understanding of what is required in those key areas of the field.
"Once we get that a lot of the other stuff of our play is very good, but obviously we need to tighten up defensively."
He added: "The free-kick (by Reading's Nicky Shorey) was unstoppable, in fairness. It was a fantastic strike and obviously we conceded from a set play, which is always disappointing when you've given key roles and jobs to people.
"They need to mark people in the box and they didn't do that and the third goal (was a backheel in the six-yard box)."