Taarabt out to repay Hughes
Moroccan determined to help Hoops avoid the drop
Last Updated: May 11, 2012 10:11am
Adel Taarabt: Hoping he can help QPR avoid relegation in their final game
QPR midfielder Adel Taarabt says he is desperate to help the club stay up this season to repay the faith shown in him by manager Mark Hughes.
The controversial Moroccan struggled to make an impact following Rangers' promotion to the Premier League under former boss Neil Warnock, losing the captaincy to Joey Barton and falling down the manager's pecking order.
He spent November away from the club on extended leave in France, having been heavily linked with a January move to Paris St Germain which failed to materialise.
The 22-year-old has since enjoyed a resurgence following Hughes' arrival in January, scoring important goals against Arsenal and Tottenham.
The Hoops head into their final game of the season at Manchester City two points clear of the drop zone and Taarabt is determined to help his side avoid relegation to repay the belief Hughes has shown in him.
"I was in France for two months after the season started. I told (the club) I would look after myself in France. That is what I have come back from," he told The Times.
"But when Mark came in, it was different. He said he would never tell me off if I lost the ball, because he wanted me to produce some magic for the team.
"People respect him. He has changed me.
"I will give everything for someone who I feel is supporting me. I want to stay up for Mark."
Taarabt believes steering QPR clear of relegation this season would be the "greatest achievement" of Hughes' career, insisting winning the Premier League as a player at Manchester United would not match it.
"We are a normal team, but with so many big personalities. That is why it has been a difficult year," he said.
"And that is why, if we stay up, it will be the best job Mark Hughes could ever do.
"He could go to United and win the league and it would not be the same as keeping QPR up. This would be his greatest achievement."
Taarabt drew criticism from Joey Barton, who replaced him as captain, earlier in the season when the midfielder accused him of "not working hard enough" to make the most of his talent and suggested he had a tendency "to sulk".
But he insists he has no issue with the skipper, adding: "I don't have a problem with Joey Barton at all. I just play.
"What he said didn't upset me. He is a strong character but so am I. I am quiet, but I am strong."