IAN Holloway was a frustrated man following QPR’s narrow loss at Preston this afternoon.
After being reduced to ten men on 22 minutes when Jamie Mackie was dismissed for a late challenge on Tom Clarke, the R’s appeared to have battled their way to a valiant point only to be undone in the 88th minute by a Jordan Hugill strike.
Following the final whistle, Alex Baptiste was also shown a red card after collecting a second booking for dissent.
“It’s tiny margins in this game,” Holloway told www.qpr.co.uk. “We didn’t get a lot wrong.
“I felt Jamie went for a ball on a slippy pitch. How that is deemed as a deliberate stamp, I find it hard to believe.”
“And I thought we more than deserved something out of this game, probably more than some of the other away performances.
“I thought our concentration and our structure worked well. Unfortunately it’s very fine margins and I’m a little bit sore right now.”
Holloway handed Ilias Chair his first start in the league and the 20 year old didn’t disappoint.
“I thought David Wheeler was excellent and I thought Ilias was excellent,” the R’s chief added.
“I felt he took his chance to play.
“We lost Luke Freeman through a suspension and I thought the little fella looked like he belonged out there. He is a wonderful footballer and he stepped up to the plate.
“I need to sweep the top stair clear in January and allow some of these lads to come into it, and he has earned the right to be in the group. He more than showed that today.
“What he does and how he does it makes me very, very proud.”
On Baptiste’s red card, Holloway explained: “At the end Alex swore at his mate who is one of the Preston lads, not at the referee.
“Alex was so frustrated he couldn’t shake hands with one of his best friends! He didn’t even know he was booked the second time.”
Baptiste will now serve a one-game suspension when the R’s host Leeds next weekend.
With Nedum Onuoha, James Perch, Grant Hall, Darnell Furlong and Joel Lynch currently sidelined, it presents a further headache for Holloway, but he insists the squad will manage.
“We will cope with it as well as we did today, with someone coming in and taking the opportunity,” he said.