Stoke v QPR reaction

BY foxsports • November 19, 2011

Pulis, however, admitted it was another poor defensive display which had really condemned them to their fourth straight loss in the Premier League. The Potters' appeals for a spot-kick were waved away by referee Mike Jones in the seventh minute after Jermaine Pennant went down in the box under the attentions of QPR captain Joey Barton. The outcome was the same when Barton felled Robert Huth in the area towards the end of the game, leaving Pulis fuming. "There was Pennant in the first half, and then the one in the second half," Pulis said. "I have had a good look at the DVD and I think they are decisions that could have gone our way easily. "There is a perception of this football club, especially at the Britannia. "I'm not saying the referee has cheated or had any bias whatsoever. "All I'm saying is that sometimes there is this perception that we are this and that, and the crowd are this and that, and they (referees) go into it with that in their minds. "I don't think he is very far from that second decision - or from the first one - so you'll have to ask the referee why he hasn't given it." Despite his annoyance at those two incidents, though, Pulis was more concerned at his side's defending during the action that came in between. A minute after Pennant's protests had been ignored, Jon Walters put the hosts in front, but Heidar Helguson was left unmarked to nod in an equaliser in the 22nd minute and QPR defender Luke Young then struck at the end of a flowing move to turn the match on its head just before the interval. Nine minutes into the second half, the hosts failed to properly clear a corner and Barton crossed to Helguson, who prodded the ball in from close range. Ryan Shawcross' header 10 minutes later reduced the deficit but Stoke were unable to find a leveller. The result means the Potters have let in 14 goals in their four-game losing streak in the league and Pulis knows he has problems at the back that need addressing. "The big thing here is that we have conceded three goals and we have done that too regularly now," Pulis said. "Our defending has been pretty poor. You can see we are creating opportunities, but we have to be a lot stronger and tighter defensively. "We are not at the moment and that is what is causing us problems." Helguson netted his brace despite sustaining an early facial injury. The Iceland striker has five goals in his last five matches and QPR boss Neil Warnock - who said he had not seen the penalty incidents Pulis referred to - felt Helguson's efforts epitomised Rangers' battling spirit. Warnock said: "Helguson got a golf ball in his cheek in the first few minutes, but did he let it affect him?" The QPR forward was injured when his face made contact with Huth's knee, leaving a golf ball-sized bruise on his cheek. "If anything, it made him more determined to play well, and I thought he was magnificent today in both boxes. "You know what is coming here - you know it is going to be in your box and I was pleased to see the lads roll their sleeves up and defend when they had to. "We don't think it is a cracked cheekbone, but when you score two goals it doesn't hurt as much! "You are going to get physical battles when you come to the Britannia and that is why it is such a great result for us - not many people like to come here."

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