Sep 1 2012 By Yann Tear
MARK HUGHES declared himself 'greatly encouraged' by his side's display at the Etihad Stadium - even though they ended up on the wrong end of a 3-1 scoreline.
It took a Carlos Tevez goal deep into injury time to finally kill them off and the QPR boss saw plenty to make him believe Rangers' opening day horror show will be looked upon as just an aberration in the weeks to come.
"Their second goal was a real body blow because we'd worked so hard to get back into the game," Hughes said. "But I was really encouraged by what we produced in the second half.
"You could see we were trying to get the ball down and we've got good players.
"Once we've had a number of games together and once we've had more experience of playing with each other as a team, there's no doubt we'll get better."
Looking back on the latter stages of Saturday's game, Hughes said: "They [Man City] understood they were under a little bit of pressure and there was a little bit of unrest in the stadium. There was a little bit of nervousness about their play and we tried to play on that.
"All in all there are a lot of positives. We can look back on that and think we've got something to build on."
It all might have been different had Ryan Nelsen managed to turn in a header back across goal from Nedum Onuoha. "We had a number of chances, but unfortunately from our point of view, they fell to the wrong guy in Ryan Nelsen," Hughes quipped.
"On another day, they might have fallen to one of our strikers, but all in all, we're moving in the right direction."