MARK HUGHES rued two key refereeing decisions after watching his ten-man QPR side fall to a narrow defeat at Arsenal.
Stephane Mbia’s second-half dismissal was compounded by Mikel Arteta’s controversial late decider as the R’s resistance was finally broken seven minutes from time.
Julio Cesar’s heroics between the sticks looked to have earned the visitors a share of the spoils before Arteta scrambled the ball over the line after his initial header cannoned back off the crossbar.
Substitute Jamie Mackie almost rescued a point in stoppage time but his surging run was foiled by Vito Mannone, as Hughes’ men ultimately left the Emirates Stadium empty handed.
Speaking exclusively to www.qpr.co.uk, Hughes said: “How the referee hasn’t given the decision to us [for Arteta’s goal] I have no idea. That's absolutely killed us.
“We’ve been in to see the officials and they’ve come up with some cock and bull story about Ryan Nelsen being off the pitch and playing him onside. I’ve got absolutely no idea what they’re on about!
“Prior to the sending off I was actually making a positive substitution because I thought we looked the most likely to win the game.
“The sending off is a disappointment. At that stage it was hard to take because I felt we were in total control of the game.
“We have to make the right decisions at key moments in games and unfortunately this year we’ve done things that have hurt us and haven’t been able to recover from them.”
Despite defeat, Hughes was satisfied with the performance of his team against the Gunners.
“We played really, really well against a good Arsenal side who, given their last couple of results, were looking for a really positive performance.
“We worked to our game plan really well.
“From our point of view it’s a very good, professional away performance but once again we haven’t got any reward for it.
“We played really well against Everton, we played really well today. In terms of performances we’re building as people are getting used to playing together.”
Defeat means the R’s remain bottom of the table but Hughes is confident their next run of fixtures can provide opportunities to put points on the board.
“At some point this will turn round as we have good players.
“The vast majority [of league games so far] have been against the top ten. We have a run hopefully now that will enable to get us maximum points.”