Nahki Wells has received plenty of support after apologising for missing a stoppage-time penalty in Queens Park Rangers’ 4-3 defeat at home to Birmingham City on Saturday.
The Bermuda striker’s failure from the spot denied his side an incredible second-half comeback after they fought back from 4-0 down during a pulsating Sky Bet Championship encounter.
Wells took to Twitter after the game to say sorry to the supporters and vowed to “right the wrong” when QPR face Bristol City away in the league tomorrow.
“Prob the worst feeling I’ve ever had in football! Apologies I let us down!!,” Wells wrote.
Tony Fernandes, the club’s chairman, quickly responded to Wells’s message, saying: “No apologies needed. You have been a star and one of the hardest workers on the pitch. We move on. We are @QPR.”
Steve McClaren, the QPR manager, has also backed Wells to put his disappointment behind him and hailed his side’s much needed second-half display.
“Nahki knows how to come back from this; he’s 28 years old and has plenty of experience,” McClaren told The Kilburn Times. “That’s football and while it’s a lot different standing after the game at 4-4 than it is 4-3, I always say to the players it’s about the performance.
“The first half was something I couldn’t describe in words, but the second half was pure joy.
“I want to create a team the fans are proud of and the ovation they got at the end was important because it was what the players deserved.”
Several fans were also effusive in their praise of Wells, who has scored eight goals in all competitions since joining QPR on a season-long loan from Premier League team Burnley.
Steve Paddington wrote, “Just sign permanently and I will forgive you ... oh and a hat-trick against Watford [in the FA Cup fifth round on Friday]!, while Chris Dunn responded, “You’ve put a shift in every game from day 1. These things happen fella, head up & on to the next one.”
Birmingham were four goals ahead thanks to a hat-trick from Che Adams and Harlee Dean’s effort. A goal either side from half-time from Matt Smith helped QPR claw their way back into the game before Jordan Cousins reduced in the deficit to 4-3 in the 80th minute.
QPR seemed to have been thrown a lifeline when Luke Freeman was fouled in the area by Craig Gardner, but Wells could only watch in despair as his penalty was saved by Lee Camp.
“We’re disappointed, but that is the two faces of QPR,” McClaren added. “I’ve told the players we need to see the second-half face a lot more.
“The goal just before half-time gave us a lifeline. I said, ‘I’m not happy with this, you’ve got to win the second half and keep a clean sheet’.
“I can’t fault them as they did that and the bonus would have been 4-4 and a point. It wasn’t to be and that’s football.
“The biggest thing is the reaction. What an effort from the players and we can take it on to the rest of the games this season.”
The defeat was QPR’s fourth in a row in the league and their sixth without a win as they dropped to fifteenth.
• Reggie Lambe, the Bermuda forward, came on in the 66th minute in Cambridge United’s 1-0 win at home to Port Vale on Saturday. David Amoo’s strike in the nineteenth minute earned Cambridge the victory.