Sky Bet Championship: QPR assistant Kevin Bond says dismissal changed game
Kevin Bond said there had been some soul-searching in the QPR dressing room after the 3-0 defeat at Sheffield Wednesday.
Last Updated: 20/03/14 1:37pm
At Hillsborough on Tuesday night, Rangers suffered their fifth defeat in the last eight games to leave their automatic promotion hopes in tatters, sitting 10 points behind second-placed Burnley with 10 games to play.
This miserable loss did not come without controversy, though, as they were reduced to 10 men in the 35th minute when Richard Dunne was harshly sent off for a foul on Leon Best.
Chris Maguire converted the penalty and from then on, it was all Wednesday, who added second-half goals from Best and Lewis Buxton.
Bond refused to comment on the game-changing incident, but admitted the biggest crime was his side's reaction to Dunne's dismissal.
"The referee has given it and it was a huge turning point in the game," Bond said. "At that point, we were in control and it's turned it on its head.
"The issue is what has happened after we went down to 10 men and we have spoken about it in the dressing room.
"It is a problem and we have spoken about it. There was a sense of inevitably about how the game was going to go.
"It wasn't the reaction we were looking for. We are all as a group hugely disappointed with what went on after the red card. We have discussed it in the dressing room."
Bond, who attended the post-match press conference in place of Harry Redknapp, accepts Rangers may have to settle for the play-offs in their quest for promotion.
"We looked to come here and win and when we go to Middlesbrough on Saturday we will do the same thing," he said.
"We would like to get promotion at the end of the season, that is our aim. It would be lovely to get promoted automatically but I accept it's a tall order."
Maguire's penalty and the dismissal undoubtedly changed the course of the game and although they were only facing 10 men, Wednesday put in a superb display from that point.
They were unlucky to go in at half-time only 1-0 up and in the second half they did not give their visitors a sniff.
Best provided a second six minutes after the restart with a fine finish after twisting and turning in the box and Lewis Buxton made it three from a corner in the 71st minute.
Wednesday boss Stuart Gray conceded the sending-off was harsh, but felt his side would have won anyway.
And the attacking nature of their display left him purring.
"All these things tend to balance themselves out," he said."It was definitely a penalty but I was quite surprised the referee brought the red card out so that maybe the bit of luck we had.
"But I still think we would have beaten QPR with 11 players. We wanted to win the game, we got men forward and we created chances.
"To beat a side with quality of QPR was pleasing, I am delighted with performance and I am going to enjoy it.
"If I am greedy we could have had more goals, credit to the players you could see the confidence they are playing with.
"It's a very, very happy dressing room and delighted to beat a quality team like that."