THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

Premier League ~ Mark Hughes' confidence might not be misplaced
Before QPR's game against Liverpool last night, Mark Hughes claimed their tough run-in might prove to be an advantage. "It's good in one respect because it focuses the mind. We know every game is huge and we'll have to play to our limits from now until the end of the season. We can't take any shortcuts. We have to play at the maximum of our abilities and try to drive the games." At 2-0 down with 15 minutes remaining, his confidence looked more like wishful thinking. A quarter of an hour and three QPR goals later, Hughes may be wondering if he can take a shortcut after all and tell his side to only focus on the final sixth of every match.

Championship ~ Embarrassment in Leeds as Forest hit seven
Leeds United's 7-3 defeat to Nottingham Forest on Tuesday was the first time they had ever conceded seven goals at Elland Road. The inevitable inquiry into the reasons for such a collapse – they allowed relegation-threatened Forest to score five times in the second half – was met with few answers and many more questions. "I can't put my finger on it," said Leeds captain Robert Snodgrass. "Many people will be pulling their hair out and not realising how it could happen. But we're Leeds United and how many times have we said that we do it the difficult way?" His side's inconsistent form means they are now six points below the play-offs.

League One ~ Exeter's survival chances take another blow
Exeter City are now bottom of the form table in League One, and second bottom of the league table. Following their 3-1 home defeat to Wycombe, Paul Tisdale's side have picked up just one point in their last six games. The defeat on Tuesday was a particularly galling as it came against a resurgent Wycombe side, who have now pulled themselves out of the relegation zone and five points clear of Exeter. Tisdale is pinning his hopes on the return of his captain, David Noble. The midfielder has been suspended for the last three games but will be available on Saturday, when Exeter travel to Tranmere Rovers, another in-form team.

League Two ~ Victory for managerless Rotherham
Rotherham United still have the faintest of hopes of a play-off place after their 4-2 win over Macclesfield. They have been floating around mid-table all season and sacked manager Andy Scott on Monday. The move came as a surprise to his assistant, Darren Patterson, who called the few days he had been in charge since then "horrendous". The list of candidates for the job, apparently, contains over 30 names. "It was a shock and so frustrating because people don't seem to get much time. What we were building, we believed in," said Patterson. "The whole set-up has been revolutionised behind the scenes. It's first class and the plans have been long-term. Whoever comes in does so with the club on a sound footing and three-quarters of the job already done." Tom Hocking

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