Dec 1 2012 By Paul Warburton
QPR’S cup was half full when they learned Samba Diakité and Stephane M’Bia should be all right to play at Wigan next week.
M’Bia went down after a collision with a Villa player and was stretchered off in neck brace resulting in seven minutes of added on time at the end of the first half.
His team-mate limped off in the second period – but Rs boss Harry Redknapp reckoned neither injury was serious.
The manager said: “Stephane M’Bia got a bit of a neck injury but it was nothing too bad. They don’t think there’s any problem there, and Diakité (pic) has a little kick on the calf.”
However, two veterans that did survive the 90 minute were in Harry's good books by the end.
Clint Hill and Ryan Nelsen were singled out for a rearguard performance that all but nullified any Villa threat after the first 15 minutes.
“Clint Hill and Ryan Nelsen were excellent,” Redknapp added. “Nelsen came here and thought he would be fourth choice – and yet he’s playing every week and he’s captain – they gave everything.
“Shaun Derry came on and they all tried for their life today – I couldn’t fault them.”
What chances there were, especially in a lack lustre game short of them, fell to Rangers after they fell behind to a sixth minute goal from Brett Holman.
Jamie Mackie levelled with a glancing header, but there was never quite enough cutting edge thereafter to grab a first three points of the season.
“There was only one team that was going to win today,” Redknapp added.
“I thought we were in trouble after they scored but we came back strong, and our two 35 year-olds were fantastic. I thought they coped well with him (Christian Benteke, Villa striker) after the first 15 minutes – and he’s going to be a handful to other defences.”