Sep 23 2012 By Yann Tear
MARK Hughes was left cursing as a first win unluckily eluded his team – but he said he drew great heart from the way his patched-up side performed.
Rangers went into the game without severeal injured defenders and the QPR boss revealed that it might have been even worse, with both Ryan Nelsen and Julio Cesar close to crying off and Jose Bosingwa picking up an injury two minutes into the match.
“We should be commended because we've come here with a depleted side,” Hughes said.
“I'm not quite sure how Ryan Nelsen got through the game because he's had an infection in his ear.
“He's had vertigo and been lying down in hotel rooms trying to get to a point where he could be available for selection.
"Julio Cesar hasn't played or trained for the last three or four days with a back-spasm and even a couple of hours before the game I wasn't sure whether they were going to be available. To compound that, we lose Jose Bosingwa after two or three minutes.
“The performance comforted me because I thought if we can produce that against lesser opposition – which we'll come up against in coming weeks – then without doubt we'll pick up maximum points. The level of performance we produced today is what's required.”
Hughes continued: “I thought it was a game we should have won. Certainly, the first half I thought we dominated proceedings. We were a goal to the good and if it hadn't been for Brad Friedel, we could have taken the game comfortably away from Spurs and seen the game out.
“As it was, we knew second half they would make a change, because they weren't really making any impression on us in any way, shape or form.
“We were quite comfortable in that first half and tried to press, but they got the break at the right time, with the own goal which lifted them, and almost immediately they got the second.
“Leading up to the goal, there was a clear foul on Esteban Granero and an even more blatant foul on Nedum Onuoha, which the referee saw but didn't think warranted a free-kick.
“But the overall peformance level, we're delighted with. My only criticism today is that we were so positive on occasions that we did leave ourselves a little bit open.
“But in fairness, I think that was just because of our dominance of the game. We just felt that there were opportunities to close the game out and we shouldn't be criticised for that.”