Players showed QPR fans they care – Holloway

Ian Holloway praised his players after a spirited display against Fulham.

QPR were on the back foot for much of the game but their performance in the 1-1 draw at Loftus Road further underlined how much they have improved since a recent six-game losing run.

And R’s boss Holloway said: “It was a very gutsy performance – very committed with lots of things we did well and some we can do a lot better.

“Are we where Fulham are at the moment? Probably not. But I think our fans saw we care about the club and want to get stuck in.”

Fulham levelled with 15 minutes remaining

Chris Martin had an early penalty saved by QPR keeper Alex Smithies but atoned by netting a 75th-minute equaliser for the visitors.

It cancelled out Ryan Manning’s goal – his first for QPR – midway through the first half.

Tempers boiled over during two melees in the final few minutes.

The first involved members of both management teams as well as players, and ended with Holloway’s assistant Marc Bircham being sent from the dugout by referee Keith Stroud.

The second ended with Tom Cairney escaping with a yellow card following an altercation with Manning.

Holloway insisted Cairney should have been sent off and that the sixth-minute penalty after Sone Aluko went down under Jake Bidwell’s challenge should not have been awarded.

Holloway said: “Luckily for me my goalkeeper saved the penalty but it’s still hard to believe it was given. I could clearly see it wasn’t a penalty.

“After that, things happened that you would expect to be controlled by the officials. It was all ‘what’s going on here?’

“I thought the referee lost control of the situation. I’m not sure who started it. There was a bit of a ruck and for once I wasn’t involved.

“It was a mad couple of minutes. It felt like it was madness for a while.

“I think it’s the pressure the referees have been put under. I’ve known Mr Stroud for years and he has been a fantastic referee.

“What they’re being asked to do and how they’re being asked to referee has changed. I felt he lost control of the game.”