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Hughes chasing down Adkins as the sack race hots up

| 26.09.2012

Tony Fernandes could well become the first Premier League chairman to swing the axe after QPR’s disappointing start to the season. It’s fair to assume it is not the return he would have expected from the handsome investment he made in the playing staff over the summer.

Mark Hughes has shortened into second favourite at 9/2 to be the next manager to leave after his side suffered their third league defeat of the season at Spurs.

With only two draws to show from five games defeat to Reading the Capital One Cup could see the pressure begin to mount ahead of the R’s crunch league game with West Ham.

The London derby with the Hammers begins a run of seven games where they’ll be expected to pick up points and, if the club are still languishing in the bottom three when they head to Old Trafford on November 24th, Hughes could easily find himself unemployed.

This would make him look rather foolish off the back of last season’s proclamation that the Loftus Road club would never find themselves in a relegation dog fight for as long as he remained at the helm.

To avoid this word-eating embarrassment, he’s got to pick up at least five wins from his next seven Premier League games which, in turn, will see Hughes fall off the pace in the sack race.

Nigel Adkins remains favourite to go next at 3/1, despite his side picking up their first win of the campaign against Aston Villa last time out.

The character his team showed to go in at the break one down to net four goals in the second half demonstrates they have full backing of their manager, as well as the ability to compete with established Premier League sides like Villa.

This bodes well for Adkins’ chances of remaining in charge at St Mary’s and, after achieving successive promotions, he definitely deserves to.

His charges have got plenty of goals in them with Rickie Lambert looking to have effortlessly made the step up to top-flight level. Premier League survival will be a question of sorting out their leaky defence but, if they can get that in order, Adkins could soon see his price start to drift.

Brian McDermott, at 16/1 is a strong outside bet to be the first top-level manager out of a job this season.

He’s performed way above expectations to get Reading to where they are today but, with his team still winless after four games with Chelsea representing the only game where they could expect defeat.

With far more difficult challenges awaiting than West Brom and Stoke, the Royals search for a win could be dragged out a lot longer than new owner Anton Zingarevich is likely to stand for.

He inherited the club last season and got lucky that a quick promotion ensued with minimal investment. However, whether he’s patient enough to let McDermott plod along in the lower reaches of the division is another question, which could lead to a windfall for punters who took advantage of the 16/1 currently on offer.

All odds and markets accurate as of time and date of publication

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Author

James Middleton