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Football | Barclays Premier League

‘Harry race forced Hughes sacking’



QPR chairman Tony Fernandes has revealed Mark Hughes would have been given more time to rescue the struggling Premier League side if Harry Redknapp hadn't been available.

Malaysian tycoon Fernandes sacked Hughes last month after QPR failed to win any of their first 12 matches and immediately moved for Redknapp, who was unemployed after leaving Tottenham at the end of last season.

Redknapp, who has previously saved Tottenham and Portsmouth from the threat of relegation, had been linked with the vacant Ukraine manager's job around the same time Hughes was sacked and Fernandes admits he was determined to win the race for the 65-year-old's services.

That meant former Manchester City and Fulham boss Hughes was axed earlier than Fernandes would have liked.

"Harry is a special manager. If he wasn't available, I would probably have persevered with Mark, but Harry is a fantastic manager," Fernandes told QPR's website.

"I've known him for years going back to when he was at West Ham. Harry being available swung it for us."

QPR are unbeaten in four matches since Redknapp's arrival and picked up their first league win of the season against Fulham on Saturday.

The west London club are still five points adrift of safety, but Fernandes believes they will avoid relegation if they can finish 2012 on a high note.

"We're all in this together. No shirking. Let's see what Harry and the boys do," he added.

"It's up to the 11 guys on the pitch to make it happen for us now.

"If we can pick up a couple of more wins before the new year, we're back to where we were this time last year.

"Coming off a win and three draws, there's a bit of renewed confidence about the place now."

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