A couple of former QPR bosses could be ideal replacements for Gareth Ainsworth, but Michael Beale shouldn’t return.
Queens Park Rangers are in a very sticky situation at the moment.
Following their 2-1 defeat against Huddersfield Town on Saturday, they remain in the drop zone and four points adrift of safety.
That isn’t a promising sign for a side that struggled for much of last season, with Ainsworth winning just three league games between the time of his appointment in February and the end of the 2022/23 campaign.
Many people would argue that the manager isn’t at fault considering Neil Critchley also struggled throughout his spell in the English capital.
Others would argue that Ainsworth has had a summer window to get his squad into shape and they signed some promising first-teamers too, with Jack Colback and Steve Cook both playing a big part in Nottingham Forest’s promotion back in 2022 but both making the switch to Loftus Road during the most recent window.
Looking at where QPR have been in recent years, they should be nowhere near the bottom three, with the R’s previously competing for promotion under Mark Warburton during the 2021/22 campaign.
Still having the likes of Ilias Chair and Chris Willock at their disposal, as well as Lyndon Dykes, some will argue that the club should be much higher than they currently are.
And it may only be a matter of time before the club’s board decide to axe Ainsworth, even though he enjoyed great success at Wycombe Wanderers and is adored by many QPR fans for his contributions as a player in West London.
Which former QPR managers could succeed Gareth Ainsworth?
Neil Warnock is currently out of work and could potentially be open to securing a return to his former club, considering he enjoyed great times there.
The 74-year-old seems to be hungry to get back into the game – and he would give the R’s a great chance of remaining in the Championship beyond this term.
Mark Warburton is also a free agent after leaving West Ham United – but it’s unclear whether he would want to return to management.
One former manager who does seem to be interested in the job is Michael Beale, following his dismissal from the top job at Scottish Premiership side Rangers.
Why should QPR opt against Michael Beale return?
Going back and signing a former player or manager is always a risk and it could be argued that this risk was taken when they appointed Ainsworth.
He’s a fondly remembered figure at QPR but his reputation at Loftus Road could be tarnished if he plays a key part in their potential relegation at the end of this term.
One man who has already damaged his reputation at the club is Beale, who pledged his support to the club just weeks before making the move to Ibrox.
Although he was reasonably successful during his short stay at Loftus Road, appointing Beale would be the wrong move for two reasons.
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Firstly, the ex-Aston Villa assistant manager needs time to recover following the disappointment of his dismissal north of the border.
And secondly, the R’s need a unifying figure who can bring the fanbase and the club together in their quest to avoid relegation.
From the very start of his potential second spell, Beale would be facing an uphill battle in his quest to get the fans back onside and that won’t help the team as they need to get points on the board quickly.
He isn’t the ideal man to come back in at the moment – and shouldn’t be considered if Ainsworth departs.
Although his style could suit the likes of Chair and Willock, he would probably not just lose the fans, but also the dressing room if he didn’t get results straight away.