Mark Hughes conceded that his Queen's Park Rangers team had been "naïve" in their 6-1 defeat to Chelsea that leaves them just one place above the relegation zone.
A point or more for Bolton Wanderers against Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday will mean that QPR fall into the bottom three with just two matches to play – against Stoke City at Loftus Road on Sunday and then a visit to face Manchester City on the final day. Rangers last won away from home this season against Stoke in November.
Having conceded within the first minute against their west London rivals, Hughes admitted his side had contributed to their own demise. "We conceded quite readily after that and were 4-0 down after 25 minutes because we were chasing the game, trying to get back into it," he said.
"They picked us off. We didn't have that platform you need playing away from home. We deserve a bit of credit for keeping going, but we were a bit naïve. Sometimes you have to take your medicine and accept it's not going to be your day. Our home form has been very good, but we haven't been able to replicate that away from home. It's been a problem all season. It's an area that needs a rethink. We've damaged our goal difference."
Hughes denied that the cancellation of the pre-match handshake between the two teams, because of the implications it had for the John Terry-Anton Ferdinand court case, was not a factor. "It wasn't on our radar," he said, "so it's no excuse."
Chelsea's Fernando Torres, who scored a hat-trick yesterday, admitted things had not been easy for him at Chelsea since his move from Liverpool: "I have had one very difficult year here, going through a very difficult period of time, where things were not right. When you work hard – it's the only thing you can do – the rewards have to come, and it's time to enjoy it now."
Chelsea have also announced the signing of midfielder Marko Marin, 23, for £7m from Werder Bremen this summer. The club's caretaker manager, Roberto Di Matteo, whose name was chanted throughout the match by the home fans, said: "He's an exciting player, a young German international. He's a very good player, technically. He is skilful. He will add some qualities to this team. I tend to give my recommendation, but ultimately the club decides who they want to buy."