Hughes questions pre-match handshakes

Blackpool Citizen: Mark Hughes has questioned the merits of the pre-match handshake Mark Hughes has questioned the merits of the pre-match handshake

QPR manager Mark Hughes has strongly hinted that he believes the pre-match handshake should be abandoned.

The ritual will become the centre of attention when QPR host Chelsea on Saturday in the first meeting between Anton Ferdinand and John Terry since the England defender's race trial in July. Terry was found not guilty of using a racial slur against Ferdinand in the corresponding fixture last October, but remains the subject of a Football Association investigation.

Ferdinand is expected to reject a handshake from Terry, ensuring all eyes will be locked upon them moments before kick-off. "The handshake is part of the Respect campaign and we all fully support that. It's done fantastic work and is to be commended," Hughes said. "But maybe this part of showing respect is fundamentally flawed."

He added: "Should there be a discussion in terms of how we show respect? Is this the best way to do that?

"It's open to debate and that's why I was asking about it at the Premier League meeting. Maybe after the match would be better.

"For our FA Cup match with Chelsea in January we didn't do it and that helped the situation."

A sizzling atmosphere is expected for a highly-charged derby that will see QPR attempt to seal their first Barclays Premier League victory of the season.

Roberto Di Matteo, meanwhile, has no concerns about John Terry's mental or physical wellbeing ahead of Chelsea's clash with QPR.

Di Matteo said: "As a human being there are certain aspects of life that will faze you.

"But, if you look at his career, he's always got on with it. He's a confident player."

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