Striker Djibril Cisse has called on QPR to deliver Mark Hughes some “sweet revenge” by denying Manchester City the title and ensuring their own survival at the Etihad Stadium next weekend.
QPR head in to Sunday’s season finale in charge of their own destiny after moving out of the Barclays Premier League relegation zone with a dramatic 1-0 win over Stoke yesterday.
The victory, which came courtesy of Cisse’s 89th-minute strike, means Rangers will avoid relegation if they draw at City, where Hughes was sacked in 2009 after 18 months in charge.
Many think the Welshman was unfortunate to lose his job after a tumultuous period at the club that included Sheikh Mansour’s multi-million pound takeover.
Cisse thinks Hughes, a former fans’ favourite at Manchester United, will not be motivated by revenge but still thinks it would be nice for Rangers to triumph over City after the way his manager was treated.
“That would be sweet revenge for him,” Cisse said.
“I don’t think he is thinking about this – his main concern is to keep QPR up but it will be sweet for him too.”
Hughes may think he has a point to prove to Mansour. He reached the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup during his first season in charge at City and also had to deal with a major overhaul in the club’s playing staff.
Against Stoke it was the flamboyant Cisse who had a point to prove – to QPR’s fans and the club’s owner Tony Fernandes.
The Frenchman has been a big hit since his £4million January transfer from Lazio, scoring five times in seven matches, but he has also cost the club points by getting sent off against Sunderland and Wolves, meaning he has been suspended for seven games.
“I am trying to do my best to repay what I owe the people,” said the striker, who latched on to Anton Ferdinand’s flick-on to seal the late win.
“It was one of the most important goals of my career. It’s really important because I know how important it is for the club to stay up.
“I saw Tony after the game and he gave me a hug. I remember having a conversation with him by text, telling him: ’I am going to pay you back what I owe you’ and he came and told me: ’Thank you. You paid me back’.
“It was nice of him.”
Bolton’s 2-2 draw against West Brom means the Hoops are now favourites to stay up as they are two points clear of the Trotters, who remain in the relegation zone.