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By Paul Lagan at Loftus Road
Saturday, September 15, 2012
QPR boss Mark Hughes is fed up to the back teeth with these handshakes and frankly could do with out them.
Talking after his charges’ 0-0 draw with Chelsea at Loftus Road, the only talk was of the lack of them between Anton Ferdinand and John Terry.
“For goodness sake,” he said. “We are talking about it for so long over something or nothing.
“I don’t want to go all misty eyed about the old days [when we did not shake hands before the game, and only did if we wanted afterwards].
“I’d prefer we did not shake hands before games, but the Respect campaign is great. But this element of it can cause more problems, and that is not the intention of it.
“The players had discussions. I was aware that some players were going to shake hands and some would not - it was a personal decision on [Ji-Sung] Park’s part not to do so also.”
But Hughes was delighted with his team’s performance, saying: “We were excellent.”
He added: “We controlled the game, and held them for long periods and they are Champions of Europe.
“It was as good as we can expect, but we will get better. We were unlucky not to win the game but it’s an improvement on our performance against Man City [3-1 defeat].
“It was a competitive game and played in good spirit. Our players did not lower their focus, we were just keen to play.”
Hughes gave a debut in goal to Julio Cesar in place of Robert Green and explained: “I told Rob of my intentions [to drop him]. But we have put him in a position where he did not think he would be, but we had the chance to bring in one of the world’s top goalkeepers and he showed in his performance it was the right decision.”
On the injury front, Hughes is concerned about striker Andrew Johnson.
“AJ will have a scan on his knee,” he said. “It could be serious, Fabio will also have a scan on his hamstring.
“Anton Ferdinand had his thigh strapped up near the end and it hampered us a bit.”