Man Utd boss boss Ferguson: QPR players playing for their futures

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is talking up the chances of Mark Hughes' QPR upsetting Manchester City tomorrow. Ferguson said last week he wished Hughes was playing.

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is talking up the chances of Mark Hughes' QPR upsetting Manchester City tomorrow.

Ferguson said last week he wished Hughes was playing.

But he is confident the toughness that characterised Hughes throughout his playing career will transmit itself to his players, many of whom could be facing uncertain futures by 5pm on Sunday evening.

"Probably most of the players will be put on the transfer list," said Ferguson.

"A lot of their salaries will be halved from what I can gather. It is a dramatic thing for QPR. They have invested a bit of money and it could a big effect on the players and club."

Given the way he was treated by City, who leaked confirmation that Hughes was leaving on the morning of a game he was in charge for, the QPR boss has plenty of personal incentive to deny the Blues.

Not that Ferguson believes revenge will be a motive.

"Revenge is never a word I use," he said. "I don't think it is productive.

"But it would be ironic if that were to happen. The way he was sacked was terrible. His wife knew before him.

"It was a shock at the time but I don't think that will matter to Mark that much.

"He was a warrior as a player and all his teams seem to mirror him."

QPR, who conceded six at Chelsea a fortnight ago and have collected just two points from their last 12 Premier League away games, have little chance of becoming only the second team to deny City a home win this season.

Yet Ferguson feels parallels can be drawn between their task, and the one his own Aberdeen side faced exactly 29 years ago, when they took on Real Madrid in the European Cup Winners' Cup final.

"I had 11 home-bred players and the oldest was 27," he said.

"That is QPR's challenge - to do an Aberdeen. Of course, the odds are stacked against them. City are in good form and they are at home.

"But it will not be easy for City. The pressure on them will be enormous. The disappointment of losing the game would be unbelievable."

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