Hughes takes heart from Taarabt’s display

QPR manager Mark Hughes took encouragement from Adel Taarabt’s performance in the defeat against Wolves.

Taarabt, back from the Africa Cup of Nations, was excellent in the second half as Rangers played with 10 men following the sending off of Djibril Cisse.

Taarabt did well in the second half.

It suggested to Hughes that he has enough attacking ability at his disposal to steer the club away from trouble.

Hughes said: “I thought he [Taarabt] was excellent. I admired him from afar but had not seen much of him close up, and thought he was outstanding today.

“With his ability and the strengths of the other strikers we do have the ability to score goals in the Premier League. It just wasn’t to be today.

“It wasn’t just his ability but also his attitude and application, which has maybe been questioned in the past but couldn’t be today.

“Although we were beaten I was encouraged by what I saw. I was really pleased with what we were producing. The interplay between the three up front augers well.

“Adel coming back has really helped us. Moving forward we’ve now got real options up front.”

Hughes admitted that referee Mark Clattenburg had little choice but to send Cisse off after the Frenchman’s reaction to a rash challenge from Roger Johnson.

Cisse, who suffered a horrific broken leg earlier in his career, first pushed the Wolves defender and then grabbed his throat.

Having initially protested at the decision, Hughes conceded that his player had to go.

“It was probably because of his injury record that he reacted, and if he had kept it at the initial reaction he would have probably been okay,” said Hughes.

“But he went back and raised his hand to the neck area and as we know you can’t do that, so the referee had to send him off.

“I’m pretty confident in saying that if it had stayed 11v11 we would have won the game fairly comfortably, although we conceded two poor goals if I’m honest.

“At 2-1 down and with one less guy on the pitch it was always going to be difficult. But we took the game to them, had some great efforts, and on another day we would have scored.”

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