Under pressure, QPR manager Gareth Ainsworth stated after Saturday’s 4-0 defeat to Blackburn Rovers that he has not been told by his players or club executives that he has lost their support and that he will fight until he is ordered to stop.
The R’s have 11 points from their opening eight Championship games and look ready for another season battling relegation after narrowly avoiding the drop last season.
Ainsworth took over in February after Neil Critchley’s disastrous tenure, with victories over Watford and Burnley proving enough to enable him navigate the West Londoners to safety.
the 50-year-old’s exploits as an R’s player meant he arrived with an immediate connection to the supporters and credit in the bank but the majority of that looks to be spent and his side were booed off against Rovers on Saturday.
Gareth Ainsworth discusses his QPR future
With two weeks until the next Championship fixture, the October international break does offer the club chiefs the chance to make a change in the dugout in a bid to turn their fortunes around.
But Ainsworth told FLW on Saturday that he still felt he had the backing of the dressing room and those above him.
He said: “Not good enough. Not good enough from QPR today. I apologise to the fans. The players have given their all but it’s not good enough. I’ve got to make that all better, I’ve got to make my all better if that’s the problem. We’ve got to find a way to start winning games because that was not good enough.”
Ainsworth added: “Listen, I haven’t been told that nobody’s backing me, players or board, so I’ll carry on the way I’m going. Like I say, I’m a fighter. I don’t fear anything because I can look in the mirror and know I gave my best every time I walked into the training ground, picked a team, or managed a game. I gave my best, if that’s not good enough then I’ll be told but at the moment I intend to go away to make myself and these players better, that’s the way forward.”
Asked if this was the hardest challenged he’d faced in his career, he responded: “No. I’ve been in some pretty tough places before. It’s football. It’s a tough old thing. If you start looking at it like that then you can lose sight of reality. There are a lot worse things in the world. I know where I am. I’m going to work really hard to get out of this. Like I say, you give your best – that’s all I ever tell my kids – you give your best that’s all you need to do and I give my best every single day.”
The R’s boss concluded: “I believe that we’ve got a better squad than we had when I first came in. It didn’t show today in the result but I’m super confident that we can pick enough points up with this squad.”
Should QPR sack Gareth Ainsworth?
It would not be surprising if they cut the power.
While there have been some signs of development at Loftus Road during Ainsworth’s time, the manner of Saturday’s defeat was deeply troubling, and his players did not appear to be playing for him towards the end.
He arrived at the club in a difficult situation, but eventually, his performances and results in the first few months of the 2023/24 season have not been satisfactory, and it appears that the time has come for someone else to take over in W12.