Penalty decision angers QPR boss

QPR manager Mark Hughes insisted referee Mike Dean was wrong to award the penalty which led to Chelsea’s winner in the FA Cup clash at Loftus Road.

Dean pointed to the spot after Daniel Sturridge went down under a challenge from Clint Hill, who angrily argued that the Blues forward had dived.

Hill protested bitterly after a penalty was awarded against him.

Juan Mata made no mistake from 12 yards, sending his team into the fifth round and leaving Hughes furious.

“I think it was very harsh and Mike Dean will be disappointed when he sees the decision he’s made,” said Hughes.

“He told Paddy Kenny he had to give a penalty because he thought Sturridge would have scored with the header. I think he [Sturridge] went down a bit too easily.

“It’s disappointing for us because the goal came during one of our better periods in the game.”

Hughes praised Anton Ferdinand, who produced a solid performance despite the furore surrounding the R’s defender and John Terry.

“I think Anton has conducted himself really well, not just this week but over a number of weeks,” he said.

“The focus was on him, and for him to play as well as he did means he comes away with a lot of credit.”

Hughes added: “We’re disappointed, because we worked hard in terms of discipline and defensive shape but weren’t able to retain possession higher up the field after defending so well.

“If you’re working extremely hard you still need to be able to go the other way and affect the game. Unfortunately we didn’t do that as well as I’d have liked.

“It was understandable, because we lost players during the week and during the game.

“Heidar Helguson had to come off at half-time and Akos Buzsaky, who hasn’t trained all week, looked leggy towards the end.”

And Hughes revealed that Helguson, who has been nursing an ongoing groin problem, is “very unlikely” to play against Aston Villa in midweek.

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