Cisse gives Hughes some small comfort
QPR 1 Reading 1:The mood around Loftus Road was encapsulated by a Queens Park Rangers fan sauntering into his favourite pre-match eatery to rub his hands together and announce: “Mark Hughes kebab, anyone?”
Some 65 minutes into this tussle between the Premiership’s two winless wonders, with Reading ahead and QPR bottom of the table, the sentiment resonated. All changed a minute later as Djibril Cisse scored to give his team – and his manager – a lifeline.
Averting defeat was paramount. That did not prevent a smattering of boos, and some discontent aired at Hughes’s stewardship, at full time and Hughes did not attempt to hide from reality.
“We are not sticking our head in the sand,” he said. “Our intention is to get out of it. This was an opportunity to do that and we haven’t taken it.”
The Welshman had suggested a change of luck was overdue. But that was not the issue when they fell behind in the 16th minute, with the defence again suffering a sudden power cut. QPR struggled to deal with a corner, Sean Morrison looped a header on to the crossbar and the rebound fell towards Kaspars Gorkss.
The Latvian centre half did well to get his body into a shooting position and even better to thump the ball through a melee of hooped defenders. His effort was powerful enough to crunch through Julio Cesar’s attempted save.
Gorkss’s celebration was tinged with the emotion of the ex. He had been part of QPR’s promotion team but was deemed surplus to requirements when investment rolled in.