Latics forward Shaun Maloney struck a free-kick four minutes into injury time to nudge 10-man QPR closer to relegation from the Barclays Premier League.
Loic Remy appeared to have given Rangers renewed hope in their survival quest with a stunning 85th-minute strike, only for Maloney to drive home a ferocious equaliser from 20 yards just seconds from the final whistle.
He said: "It couldn't have been more cruel. We deserved to win with 10 men.
"You try not to give free-kicks away but people are so anxious to win the ball, sometimes over-exuberance can get the better of you.
"We cleared the first free-kick and then we should have kept the ball down in their corner. But there was one more attack and they got a free-kick.
"It's just unbelievable. The players were fantastic and just worked their socks off. You can't ask for more than that."
The Rangers boss had not yet spoken to Bobby Zamora following his first-half dismissal but he knew the former Tottenham striker would be feeling guilty enough before any further admonishment.
"I think it looked like a red card," he added. "Bobby's not a malicious player but it was a clumsy challenge - his foot was high.
"It was a reckless challenge and it's not like Bobby to do things like that. He's not a reckless player."