Mark Hughes claimed Premier League managers have “lost faith” in officials after his 10 man QPR side conceded a controversial penalty in their 2-0 defeat at Manchester United on Easter Sunday.
Referee Lee Mason pointed to the spot in the 14th minute and sent off Shaun Derry after the Rangers captain was ruled to have brought down Ashley Young in the penalty area.
Wayne Rooney converted the kick but Hughes, confirming QPR will appeal against Derry’s dismissal, was furious with the decision after replays showed Young went down under minimal contact and was initially in an offside position.
“You should have confidence that the referees are going to make the key decisions in the game,” Hughes said. “Unfortunately, a lot of managers have lost faith in them. We’re desperately disappointed with the performance of the referee for the vast majority of the game.
“These are massive decisions that effect peoples’ livelihoods. Key decisions aren’t being made, unfortunately. It was clearly offside and the contact was minimal. He went down very easily.
“It just felt like he was a little bit too quick to put his whistle to his mouth. I don’t think he actually stopped to consider it, the penalty had been given before the assistant could put his flag up.
Hughes sympathized with the officials but insisted they needed to improve.
“It’s a difficult job, you have to be 100 per cent convinced you’re making the right decision," he said. "I think at the moment people are guessing and hoping they get the decision correct. That was the case today. They don’t intend to make wrong decisions, they don’t mean it. But the level needs to be higher than it is at the moment.”
Paul Scholes sealed the points for United in the 68th minute, a result that leaves QPR just one place outside the relegation zone, level on points with third-from-bottom Blackburn.
Hughes admitted his thoughts turned to protecting his team’s goal difference following United’s opener and he believes QPR’s three home games - against Swansea, Tottenham and Stoke - will dictate whether they survive in the Premier League this season.
“We were conscious of the fact that we couldn’t concede a shedload of goals because goal difference is importance to us," he added. "We didn’t capitulate today, so I’m pleased with what we produced despite the game being pretty much over after 15 minutes."
“We will have fresh legs for Swansea on Wednesday but we’re still disappointed with what we were able to produce today. We’ve got three home games that we hope to get something out of. That will be the key for us because we’re playing exceptionally well at home.”
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