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McClaren slams defensive efforts as QPR fall to defeat at Wigan

PUBLISHED: 18:51 02 February 2019 | UPDATED: 18:51 02 February 2019

Queens Park Rangers manager Steve McClaren on the touchline (pic Andrew Matthews/PA)

Queens Park Rangers manager Steve McClaren on the touchline (pic Andrew Matthews/PA)

PA Archive/PA Images

Rs beaten by Latics despite goal from Bright Osayi-Samuel

Queens Park Rangers boss Steve McClaren was left to reflect on a below-par display at the back in a 2-1 loss at Wigan Athletic in the Sky Bet Championship.

Goals from Josh Windass and Leon Clarke for the Latics were enough to see off QPR, who responded late through Bright Osayi-Samuel.

Rs boss McClaren was disappointed with his team’s defensive display, but was also upset that a late handball in the Wigan box was not spotted by referee Scott Duncan.

“I feel hard done by, absolutely,” he said. “Having said that, you can’t concede two goals like we did and expect to win football matches away from home.

“The defence has been a key reason why we’ve been able to do what we’ve done this season, but in recent weeks we’ve lost the platform.

“After going two goals down I’m pleased with the way the players responded, the way we came back into it.

“The last 20 minutes was all us, and it was a blatant penalty at the end.

“I thought at first it was the goalkeeper who’d come out, because it was such a good save.

“I’ve seen it again on the video and it’s a blatant handball.

“That would have allowed us to take away something from the game, but it doesn’t change the fact we’ve stopped doing what we have been doing best.”

Wigan boss Paul Cook, meanwhile, was also pleased his team won their first game since selling talisman Will Grigg to Sunderland at the end of the transfer window.

It’s been a tough week for everyone, to lose a player with the character and stature of Will was hard to take,” Cook admitted.

“It was always going to have a massive effect on everyone - the supporters, the players, the management.

“He came in on Friday morning to say goodbye to everyone and it was a very emotional moment.

“He’s been an absolute hero for this club, and if you’d have told me at 9-10pm on deadline day we were going to lose him, I’d have said not a chance.

“In fact we were working on bringing in another player, as well as Will, but unfortunately we didn’t get that done and then we lose Will because of the money involved.

“I know there’s been criticism of the owners and myself for allowing that to happen.

“But when you win football matches, everyone is suddenly happy again.

“We really needed the three points today, and I’m really delighted for the Wigan Athletic fans that we were able to deliver them.”

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