Holloway admits ‘massive stroke of fortune’ after QPR win

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QPR boss Ian Holloway admitted a clear handball was missed in the build up to his team’s all-important opening goal in their 2-1 win against Ipswich at Loftus Road.

Visiting manager Mick McCarthy was left dismayed after Massimo Luongo used his hand before laying the ball off to Pawel Wszolek, whose cross set up Jamie Mackie.

Luke Freeman doubled Rangers’ lead early in the second half before Bersant Celina pulled a goal back for the visitors with a superb strike.

“We had a massive stroke of fortune where the referee should have saw a handball,” Holloway said.

“The ball has popped up to Mass and I think he’s just moved it with his hand. The fourth official should have seen it and should have the power to tell the referee.

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“I’d be fuming if I were Mick. We (managers and officials) had a meeting in the summer and talked about game-changing moments – well if that’s not a game-changing moment I don’t know what is.

“They should see that. Luckily for us today we were able to capitalise on that and then get the second goal. Up until that point anybody could have scored.”

But Holloway was also full of praise for his team, who maintained their 100% home record in the Championship this season.

“We defended brilliantly and didn’t give them too many chances. It was magnificent,” he said.

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“The group is doing what I’ve asked them to, which is to defend and put bodies on the line.

“We fought to the end and I’m delighted with the way we managed to see that through.

“The lads are rolling their sleeves up. They’ve got skill and are also working hard for each other.”

McCarthy bemoaned the decision to let the opening goal stand but conceded that his team were second best.

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He said: “It was handball. I’ve told the referee what I think of the decision and what it’s done to the game. The game was going nowhere. It was just a scrap.

“We’ve lost the game and I seem like I’m moaning, but it’s a handball. The goal before half-time has knocked the stuffing out of us a bit.

“But the defending for the second goal was poor and, 2-0 up at home, QPR are a good side.

“The goal from Bersant was brilliant but it put a gloss on the performance. They were better than us.”