Hughes hails Taarabt factor

QPR boss salutes returning midfielder

Adel Taarabt: Mark Hughes believes the midfielder has a big role to play

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Queens Park Rangers boss Mark Hughes believes Adel Taarabt's ability could be a deciding factor in retaining their Premier League status.

The 22-year-old midfielder made his return from Africa Cup of Nations duty on Saturday as QPR lost 2-1 to Wolves, but Taarabt impressed Hughes with his all-round performance.

The Morocco international was making only his 10th start of the Premier League season having been away on international duty and suffering a run of minor injuries.

However, despite only being able to play a limited role so far manager Hughes believes that Taarabt will feature heavily if they are to remain in the top flight.

Impact

"We'll get the best out of him and he'll have a real impact until the end of the season," he said.

"I've got no doubt his ability will be a factor in the games we have ahead of us."

Although only managing to train once with his team-mates ahead of the weekend's fixture Taarabt stood out for Rangers and continued to impress Hughes.

"I was really impressed with Adel," he added. "He'd only had one light training session with the group since his return, but he took on board what we said to him, in terms of what we needed from he, and he was fantastic.

Impressive

"His defensive work, which apparently hasn't been the greatest in the past, was thoroughly impressive; I didn't see any problems with that side to his game at all.

"His effort and his application, along with his ability, which he showed on numerous occasions, was outstanding.

"I just thought he took on the responsibilities we asked of him. He was excellent individually and he helped out his team-mates, he stepped up to the plate and that will encourage him and give him the confidence that he can affect Premier League games."

Hughes will hope that Taarabt takes on the same central role on Saturday as his side travel to Blackburn looking to take three points against their relegation rivals.