Was Mark Hughes Really Trying to Defend Samba Diakite?

In his post-match interview following yesterday’s 1-0 defeat at home to Fulham, Queens Park Rangers Mark Hughes questioned the red card of debutant Samba Diakite.

Speaking to the BBC, Hughes was quoted as saying “things just seem to be conspiring against us” and “I thought he [Diakite] was a little bit unlucky with the second one [yellow card]”.

Full video can be found here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/17082982

Watching the Match of the Day highlights, Diakite was lucky not to have been sent off earlier, rather than being unlucky to be sent off. The French-born Mali international made a number of lunges, conceding 6 free kicks during the 33 minutes he was on the pitch.

A January loan signing from Ligue 1 side AS Nancy, Diakite successfully won just 1 tackle and viewing the highlights on the BBC, referee Phil Dowd had no choice but to dismiss the QPR player.

Perhaps Mark Hughes could have called him over after the first yellow card and told Diakite to calm down because it was clear to everyone else watching that his new midfielder was a little over-enthusiastic on his debut.

Yesterday’s defeat leaves Queens Park Rangers above the relegation zone only on goal difference; 1 point ahead of Wigan Athletic who foot the table. Mark Hughes’ side host Everton next weekend.