Queens Park Rangers midfielder Karl Henry admitted that his side were “unprofessional” to allow Liverpool to bag a 95th-minute winner on Saturday in their 2-3 home defeat to the Reds in the English Premier League.
QPR equalised twice in the final 10 minutes at Loftus Road, only to allow the Hoops’ unfortunate Steven Caulker to score a last-gasp own goal, which meant Brendan Rodgers visiting men earned all three points.
The London side’s midfielder Henry claimed their boss Harry Redknapp ripped into his players, who also held their own inquest, and admits he should have hacked down Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling in the build-up to the Reds’ second goal, even if it had resulted in a sending-off.
“Harry was not happy,” said Henry.
“He was shouting at us of course, we threw it away. It was naive from us, unprofessional. It can’t happen.”
“Someone said in the dressing room that it wouldn’t have even happened in an under-11s game. The goals we conceded were shocking.”
“How were we unprofessional? Like with the first goal. They take a quick free-kick and we were asleep. It was ridiculous.”
“Then having them break on us for the second goal, running out of their box quicker than we did. You cross the ball and it drops in their box and it’s not possible that they have four of five bodies in our box and we’re not with them. That shouldn’t be possible.”
“You get to 2-2 late on in the game – you don’t concede. But we dropped the free-kick short rather than run it in the stand or making it sure it’s long, in the corner, somewhere else.”
“Everyone in the dressing room was really disappointed afterwards. We were extremely disappointed in ourselves – we let ourselves down.”
“We played well for large parts of the game, to come in with no points is a joke. But we only have ourselves to blame.”
Sterling had a hand in all three pf the Merseysiders’ goals, two of them ending in own goals by QPR’s Richard Dunne and Caulker, and Henry regrets not taking evasive action when the teenage England international broke away to help set up Liverpool’s second.
“With hindsight I’d be walking off the pitch with a red card and we’d have drawn the game 2-2,” said Henry.
“At that stage, it was 1-1 and we came back from that.”
“It wasn’t him that scored, there were still four or five bodies bombing forward from their area and we let it happen.”
Despite Henry’s anger in the manner of defeat, the 31-year-old believes the hosts’ two-goal man Eduardo Vargas is cause for optimism and insisted the players are behind under-pressure manager Redknapp.
“Eduardo is that Sergio Aguero/Luis Suarez type player and, hopefully, he can continue in that form,” said Henry.
“He’s a nuisance when he comes on. He’s small and powerful, he’s got goals in him.”
“He’s been very good in training. I don’t think it will take him long to adapt at all. He works hard. The one thing that can catch some players out when they come from abroad is how hard you need to work in the English game, especially in a team like QPR where you have to outwork the opposition.”
“He has had no problems in that respect and his quality is there for all to see.”
“We are fighting for Harry, but we’re also fighting for ourselves and the club. It’s a good job that we have here. It’s well documented that footballers get paid well, we know the situation we’re in and we’re giving it everything.”
“Any suggestion that we’re not, we’re not happy about. I felt we gave a good account of ourselves on that front, but it’s all in vain.”
“We needed to show our fans that we care and we know what’s at stake, with the position is we’re in. We thought we did that. People were dying for the cause against Liverpool, so to throw it away at the end was ridiculous.”