Hughes refuses to discuss Barton

QPR boss Mark Hughes demanded that the focus should be on his team's incredible efforts at Manchester City rather that Joey Barton's red card.

Barton getting himself sent off...

Barton is facing the potential of a nine-match ban for his quite ridiculous behaviour during the second half of his side's 3-2 defeat at the Etihad Stadium.

Having already been red-carded once this season, Barton will automatically serve a four-match suspension for elbowing Carlos Tevez in the throat.

However, his reactions after that, including blatantly kneeing eventual match-winner Sergio Aguero, seem certain to land the midfielder in further trouble, with another three matches, and associated add-ons leaving Barton facing a lengthy ban.

"I understand there will be a lot of comment about Joey's behaviour," said Hughes.

"I would rather concentrate on what we did.

"I haven't seen Joey and I haven't seen the incident but people were saying he had to go.

"It didn't cost us though."

In the end, QPR retained their Barclays Premier League status thanks to Bolton's failure to beat Stoke at the Britannia Stadium.

However, for most of the second half the Londoners seemed set to hand the title to Manchester United, having taken a 2-1 lead despite the loss of Barton.

"If we had pulled it off and won the game, it would have been the greatest Premier League performance in history given the significance of the game and the attention focused on it," said Hughes.

"I congratulate City. It is a huge achievement for them. I am sure there will be many more in the future. We touched the well of apprehension they experienced. It was all the more exciting because of that."

In the end though, Hughes accepted that the moment his side knew they were safe quite possibly turned out to be the moment upon which the entire season turned.

"The one criticism is that we understood we were safe just prior to their winning goal," he said.

"Maybe we just switched off.

"I have never been involved in anything like that but Roberto would have to admit he has been lucky today."

Watch: Barton charged over City sending off... More Videos

Hughes was magnanimous in his praise for Roberto Mancini, whose arrival in December 2009 following the Welshman's sacking provoked so much ire.

A number of players he signed were part of the City team today and spoke to their former boss afterwards.

However, Hughes did not take any of the credit.

"It is nothing to do with me," he said.

"I was pleased for the players I worked with because I know the qualities that they have.

"They all came over and shook my hand but the credit is totally theirs.

"It was a great day for everyone, although I have to admit, I am a little bit flat because I am disappointed we got beaten."



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