Hughes: Handshake up to players

16 September 2012 07:47

Mark Hughes insisted he had no idea which of QPR's players planned to snub John Terry after Park Ji-Sung joined Anton Ferdinand in blanking the Chelsea captain before the goalless draw between the sides.

Ferdinand refused to acknowledge Terry and Ashley Cole as expected during the pre-match handshake at Loftus Road. It was not known how many of his Rangers team-mates would follow suit but it was still a surprise to see skipper Park - who played alongside Ferdinand's brother Rio at Manchester United - do the same, something the midfielder repeated during the coin toss.

Hughes said: "They had the discussion and I was made aware that some were prepared to shake the opposition's hand and some weren't. I didn't know which individuals and I wasn't going to push the point. It was a personal decision for each and every one of them."

Hughes was hoping talk of pre-match handshakes would draw to a close following the game.

Reiterating his opposition to the ritual, he said: "For goodness sake, we've been talking about it for God knows how long. I think it's done and dusted now.

"It's something and nothing in my view. I thought the game was what was important today and, thankfully, it was played in good spirit."

Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo was pleased with how Terry - who was cleared by a court of racially abusing Ferdinand this summer - and his team-mates conducted themselves during and after the so-called pleasantries.

"Both sets of players have shown a great attitude," he said. "They have shown how professional they are and they have played the game in the right spirit and it was a good derby to watch."

Hughes was equally effusive about Ferdinand, saying: "I thought Anton was excellent alongside Ryan Nelsen.

"I was pleased the players didn't lose their focus. Obviously, there was a danger of that but I realised that was not going to be the case the moment it kicked off."

Source: PA