Had there not been a change of management at Loftus Road, Kevin Doyle might now be playing for QPR, as the striker was a target for Neil Warnock. Mark Hughes opted instead for Djibril Cissé, and while the Frenchman's debut goal last week suggested he may prove a good purchase, Doyle's input was far more successful on Saturday.
QPR were on course for three points before Cissé over-reacted to a bad tackle from Roger Johnson – and raised his hands to the defender's face – and was dismissed after 36 minutes. Doyle then came off the bench to make Wolves' numerical advantage count. Having set up Matt Jarvis's equaliser he secured victory with his first goal in 14 matches, only his third this season.
Wolves spent £200,000 in the transfer window while QPR invested £12m, but if Doyle regains his form Mick McCarthy will effectively have a new £7m striker. "He was excellent," said McCarthy. "It's not always easy to overrun 10 men and Doyle was a big part of that. He was powerful, strong, skilful and a goal threat. His class is always there, but he has had a tough time and it had not been happening for him."
McCarthy was piqued last week when Steve Morgan, Wolves' owner, came into the dressing room to dress down the players after the 3-0 home defeat to Liverpool.
The manager highlighted another aspect of Morgan's stewardship. "I have won three games in 22 and I am still manager of Wolves. That is some level of support. Let's not forget that when everybody is trying to write negative stuff about me and him."
QPR took the lead through a debut goal from Bobby Zamora in which Cissé was involved and Mark Hughes looked forward to pairing them regularly. "They complement each other really well. Bobby can drop into spaces and retain possession, Djibril can play off the shoulder, turn quickly and chase. That is a real threat, certainly away from home, where we can counter- attack." Cissé's suspension means the pair will not now be in tandem until March and there may be another problem looming for Hughes with the Attorney General examining tweets from Joey Barton relating to the John Terry case. The QPR captain tweeted yesterday: "I will gladly go to jail for a month in the name of free speech. Make me a martyr."
QPR: KENNY 6/10; YOUNG 5; ONUOHA 5; FERDINAND 6; TAIWO 6; WRIGHT-PHILLIPS 6; BARTON 6; DERRY 6; TAARABT 7; ZAMORA 6 CISSE 3
Wolves: HENNESSEY 6; WARD 5; BASSONG 4; JOHNSON 6; STEARMAN 5; JARVIS 7; FRIMPONG 6; EDWARDS 6; FOLEY 6; O’HARA 7; FLETCHER 6
Scorers: Queen's Park Rangers Zamora 16 Wolverhampton Wanderers Jarvis 46, Doyle 71
Substitutes: QPR Traore 5 (Derry, 65), Hall 6 (Young, 65), Hulse (Zamora, 74) Wolves Ebanks-Blake 5 (Frimpong, 23), Doyle 7 (Stearman, h-t), Milijas (O'Hara, 87)
Booked: Wolves Johnson, Fletcher, Bassong Sent-off: QPR Cisse (34). Man of match Doyle. Match rating 7/10
Possession: QPR 53% Wolves 47%
Attempts on target: QPR 8 Wolves 6
Referee M Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear) Attendance 17,351Reuse content