QPR's Carling Cup campaign was a very short one indeed, but you cannot prepare yourself as fans for games like Tuesday night.
The simple fact is that on the night Port Vale played the better football, soundly beating the Hoops.
You could argue that if the Hoops put away their early chances the score line would be different, or the fact that maybe some of the R’s defenders could have positioned themselves better by reading the runs of overlapping wingers. But should you really?
Every now and then you have to hold your hands up and admit that the opposition were far superior.
However, the Hoops did start brightly and after ten minutes Leon Clarke was one on one with the keeper but unfortunately he was too close and Vale’s Stuart Tomlinson spread himself well enough to stop a decent shot.
Soon after Port Vale rattled the cross bar, and then after 32 minutes Justin Richards slid the ball past Paddy Kenny from a lovely cross orchestrated right from the back.
Fitz Hall was unlucky after Vale’s Sean Rigg smashed a shot goal wards and it deflected off him into the top of the net.
The shock this sent through the stands seemed to silence most of the boisterous R's fans, as the half time whistle blew and the expressions on some faces were of disbelief. Could this really be the team that played a couple of days ago with such aplomb?
After the break the Hoops fans decided they really needed to get involved and raised the roof with rapturous support until three minutes in when Justin Richards pounced on a fumble from Kenny after a low piledriver by Doug Loft.
Antonio German - who came on for Josh Parker - looked very lively after his introduction, which soon it paid off when, in the 62nd minute, his spinning turn and shot came off the post for the consolation goal.
Ask yourself this though. Would you prefer a nice cup run, where you play lower league teams up and down the country, who (like Port Vale) come at you with everything they have for the higher league scalp risking your best players to injury?
Or would you prefer to knuckle down putting everything you have into league games to ensure at the end you are in either a playoff or automatic spot? It's a tough call, but Warnock is a shrewd operator and has decided to chase the promotion dream. Can you blame him?
*Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.
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