Football: This was a day of contrasting emotions for managers Steve Clarke and Mark Hughes.
Clarke’s West Bromwich Albion did him proud. They were a collective unit, who knew their roles and executed their manager’s plans perfectly.
QPR, meanwhile, played as individuals, had no cohesion, and once again let down the man in charge.
The Baggies, who have now made their best start to a season since 1919, are up to fourth in the Premier League, while winless Rangers remain bottom.
Hughes had to face some tricky questions about his future for the second week running. Angry fans took to various social networking sites to vent their frustration at the way the club is progressing under Hughes, but, perhaps more importantly for the Welshman, there were no chants for Hughes to go from the 1,500 fans who paid their money and had made the journey to The Hawthorns.
Hughes said: “The fans who did come stuck behind us until the third goal. We bring big numbers and we are really frustrated for them.
“We have to make sure we give them something to support. We know we have the potential to be a good team in the league.”
QPR chairman Tony Fernandes has hit out at fans calling for Hughes’s head. He has given significant backing to the current boss despite his run of eight league games without a win and taking just two points from a possible 36 away from home.
He said via Twitter: “I am not changing anything. And all shareholders agree. No team except the first game has outplayed us … Mark is the right man.”
Fernandes obviously wasn’t watching this game as the scoreline flattered QPR. The Baggies were in front inside 10 minutes. The excellent Shane Long’s run and cross was perfect for James Morrison, who had shown more determination to get the ball than Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand as he headed home.
It got worse for the centre-half on 22 minutes when his lackadaisical slip gifted Zoltan Gera the second goal.
Adel Taarabt netted a classy reply just before half-time but Youssouf Mulumbu finished off a flowing move late on meaning Esteban Granero’s stoppage-time effort was only a consolation for QPR.
“Attacking-wise we played some fantastic football going forward and created a lot of chances in the game,” Clarke said. “I’m delighted because 14 points is a great return from the first seven games.”