Steve Bruce admitted not signing Charlie Austin was Hull’s “worst decision” during his reign after the QPR striker again proved the scourge of the club.
The one-time Tigers target gave Rangers the lead at the KC Stadium before Michael Dawson’s header earned Hull a draw.
Bruce tried to sign Austin from Burnley in 2013 only for the forward to fail a medical when scans revealed a knee problem.
QPR took the chance where Hull, perhaps scarred by their costly dalliance with midfielder Jimmy Bullard’s damaged ligaments, were afraid to do so.
The Hoops have been rewarded with 44 goals in 81 games in all competitions and a rueful Bruce said: “It’s been probably the worst decision that this club has made, certainly in the last three years.
“He’s a terrific centre-forward and he would have been great in our team, but it wasn’t to be.
“He’s obviously got a problem but he plays every week, trains every week and scores every week, so if we all got dodgy knees... it’s obviously a nice problem to have.”
Rangers chief Chris Ramsey was delighted with the 26-year-old forward, who again looked close to a transfer in this summer’s window but eventually stayed with the Loftus Road club.
“I thought he looked like a Premier League striker,” said Ramsey.
“It was a good finish. I think he’s really enjoying his football at the moment and he’s bought into what we’re trying to do.”
Austin’s goal was awarded by the referee’s assistant as Andy Robertson attempted to clear the ball off the line.
Bruce would like to see goal-line technology used in the Championship as it is in the Premier League, and suggested the club’s own footage raised questions over whether the ball crossed the line – though he accepted his side were fortunate with Tjaronn Chery’s extraordinary close-range miss.
“I think it’s about right,” he said of the result. “I think they had the outstanding chance of the second half. I have to say, after watching the goal, it’s not conclusive with the video technology we’ve got so maybe the linesman was a bit too hasty in putting his flag up. We have it in the Premier League. I don’t know what it costs but there’s big prizes in this league too, to try and get out of it.”
Hull City: McGregor, Dawson, Bruce (Akpom 65), Davies, Odubajo, Huddlestone, Clucas, Robertson, Diame (Elmohamady 76), Aluko (Maloney 69), Hernandez. Unused substitutes: Taylor, Meyler, Jakupovic, Hayden.
Queens Park Rangers: Green, Perch, Onuoha, Angella, Konchesky, Faurlin, Henry, Phillips, Luongo (Doughty 87), Chery (Mackie 76), Austin. Unused substitutes: Hall, Gladwin, Emmanuel-Thomas, Smithies, Tozser.
Referee: O Langford (W Midlands).
Man of the match: Charlie Austin.