MARK HUGHES described his side’s performance at Manchester City as ‘progress’ after seeing Rangers go down to a 3-1 defeat – that despite a valiant second-half showing.
Bobby Zamora put the R’s on terms after the half-time break to cancel out Yaya Toure’s first-half opener.
City won in thanks to further goals from Edin Dzeko and Carlos Tevez.
“I was encouraged by what I saw today – it’s progress from what we’ve produced so far this season,” Hughes told www.qpr.co.uk.
“We were in the back yard of the champions and we pressed and imposed ourselves on a very, very good team. I’m pleased with that and it’s something that we can build on.
“Our shape was good in the first half and we were working hard, perhaps without affecting the game going the other way.
“But we addressed that in the second half. We really put a shift in and caused them problems.
“I thought we were in control of the game when we equalised. But it was body blow to concede so soon after. If we’d have maintained the position we were in, we could have caused them even more problems.
“I sensed there was a little bit of apprehension in the stadium and that was filtering through to them and we fed off that.
“In the end, I was disappointed that we conceded a third goal, but there are a lot of positives to take out of it.”
Hughes – who also confirmed a shoulder injury that forced Anton Ferdinand off in the second half didn’t appear to be serious – continued: “Ale Faurlin got another 70 minutes on the road to his total recovery.
“I thought Esteban Granero was excellent all day. I brought him off as a precaution as he hasn’t had a great deal of game-time recently. But he showed what a great player he’s going to be for us.
“We defended exceptionally well today. It’s a shame that he’s (Ryan Nelsen) 35, not 25. He played really well.
“There’s a lot positives – but it’s obviously disappointing that we didn’t pick up any points today.”