QPR boss Hughes defends scattergun Taarabt
The Moroccan wasted a hatful of chances in the 1-0 reverse.
"In fairness to Adel, I played him through the middle and I thought he was really effective," Hughes said.
"He understood what was required, got in between the lines and was causing Stoke a real problem, certainly in the first half.
"If we had got a goal, I think it would have capped an excellent first-half performance for us, but it wasn't to be and you know that at those points in games, if you don't take your chances then there is always the danger you will concede at the other end.
"Stoke will always put the ball into the box and you have to deal with things dropping around you.
"Unfortunately we made a mistake, one of the few we made today at the back - I thought defensively we were very good today, better than we have been in recent weeks.
"At the moment, every mistake we make is getting punished."