QPR MANAGER Mark Hughes gave a frank assessment of his team’s performance as the R’s crashed out of the Capital One Cup tonight, losing 3-2 to Reading at Loftus Road.
Rangers twice took the lead, firstly through Junior Hoilett and then Djibril Cisse, but the visitors levelled with a Kaspars Gorkss header and Nicky Shorey free-kick, before Pavel Pogrebnyak grabbed a late winner.
“We are obviously disappointed to go out of the competition because it was one we were keen to progress in,” Hughes told www.qpr.co.uk.
“We got ourselves into two winning positions and I expected us to take the game away from Reading but we were unable to do that.
“They got their first equaliser very quickly after we scored, and it does seem to be a problem at the moment that after we score we find it difficult to react in the appropriate way.
“But even after they got their second equaliser, albeit with a fantastic free-kick, I still felt we were the stronger team.
“A few of their players were going down with cramp and I think had it gone to extra-time we would have been in the better position to go on and win the game.
“As it was, they were able to benefit from a number of consecutive errors on our part to score their third goal. It should never have happened, we afforded Pogrebnyak far too much space four yards from goal and he took advantage.”
The Royals’ direct approach seemed to cause Rangers difficulty, and Hughes admitted: “Tonight was a different type of test for us, Reading were quite physical and put us under pressure throughout.
“At key moments in the game we didn’t do the right things and it ended up costing us.”
Hughes was able to draw positives from another impressive opening 45 minutes, however, adding: “I was pleased with the first half.
“We were expansive and got the ball out wide but we didn’t get enough crosses into the box when we got into good wide areas.
“Overall, though, we are extremely disappointed because this is a tournament we wanted to progress in.”
Midfielder Ale Faurlin limped out of the action on 88 minutes, but Hughes was quick to dispel fears that the Argentinian could be sidelined for any length of time.
“Ale took a knock but it is nothing serious,” he said. “We had to take him off as a precaution.”