Hughes holds QPR’s hands up after loss keeps them bottom


QPR manager Mark Hughes criticised his side’s underwhelming first-half performance in last night’s match after concluding that that and Samba Diakite’s red card left a first Premier League victory of the season ultimately beyond them.

West Ham winger Matt Jarvis scored with a fortuitious goal after only three minutes that in many ways appropriately captured QPR’s shambolic start to the season but after Adel Taarabt’s stunning curling effort gave the home side hope when Ricardo Vaz Te had doubled their deficit, Diakite’s dismissal and the challenge left to their 10 men ensured that any eventual success would elude.

“We were very poor, certainly in the first half where we were second to every ball and didn’t get anywhere near to the level we need to be at,” said Hughes after his expensively-assembled yet disorganised side lost their fourth league match from six.

“In the second half we made a better fist of it. Adel Taarabt came on and scored a great goal which gave us a bit of momentum and at that point I fancied us to get us the second goal. But the sending off has obviously killed that momentum.

“We are desperately disappointed about that first-half performance because we are much better than that.”

The contrast of Hughes’s fortunes against West Ham’s Sam Allardyce could scarcely be greater; last season’s Championship play-off winners have now won three from six and occupy seventh place in the table. Though the season remains in its infancy, with 11 points from six fixtures they are already over a quarter of the way to collecting the traditionally-required 40-point total for survival and looked a considerably more potent proposition once striker Andy Carroll completed his return from injury from the substitures bench.

For West Ham’s first it was the most glamorous of QPR’s summer recruits that was at fault. Running with the sophistication and direction of a farm animal, Brazilian international goalkeeper Julio Cesar was curiously caught well out of position to allow Jarvis to head in with ease.

Vaz Te then scored his side’s second with 10 minutes of the first-half remaining after his shot deflected off of Stephane Mbia and beyond the on this occasion perhaps helpless goalkeeper.

It was 12 minutes into the second-half when Taarabt replied for QPR and though it was not to prove enough, his masterful, curling effort, from outside of the area and into West Ham’s top corner, was the evening’s finest effort. From there the home side showed some belief but when Diakite mistimed a tackle on Vaz Te to collect his second yellow card after only 25 minutes on the pitch, their night was effectively over.