Ghana's No. 1

'Two wins enough for QPR to stay up' - Ainsworth

Published on: 20 March 2023

Queens Park Rangers are three places and six points above the Championship relegation zone

Queens Park Rangers manager Gareth Ainsworth says two more wins should avert relegation from the Championship.

The west London club have picked up just one win in five games, losing four, since Ainsworth took charge.

QPR are only six points above the bottom three after losing 1-0 at home to Birmingham City on Saturday.

"I want the underdog mentality rather than 'we have to win every single game' because that just doesn't happen," Ainsworth told BBC Radio London.

"I want them to know where we are as a football club - this is QPR, we're not huge in this league but we can compete.

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"There are a few nerves around the place and I don't want that. I want them to enjoy their football.

"As long as we get a couple of wins off anyone, I don't care who it is - because we have done enough so far this season to give ourselves a chance to need just a couple out of the last eight."

Rangers travel to bottom side Wigan Athletic on 1 April when the Championship resumes after the international break.

Three is not the magic number

Having lost 6-1 at Blackpool in their previous game, Rangers conceded in the third minute for a second consecutive game when Tahith Chong tapped home what would be Blues' winner at the weekend.

The loss leaves the Hoops 19th but having played a match more than Rotherham and Cardiff, the two sides immediately below them in the table, whose game against each other was abandoned on Saturday.

"We've got to be performance-based and not result fearful, that's what I say to the boys," added Ainsworth, who rued the rejection of a late penalty appeal for a tackle on 19-year-old Sinclair Armstrong.

"Results can go either way. If [referee] Keith Stroud gives that penalty it's 1-1 and that moment changes everything. The second half was good enough, it was a real go at a team who were hanging on in the end.

"The sloppy goal is the difference so it's those moments I have to eradicate and once we start being more solid, I think the confidence will come back into these boys - it is an issue, of course it is.

"That's why teams at the bottom of leagues struggle and seem to concede sloppy goals - you always hear 'things go against us when we are at the bottom'. They don't - it's just your mindset and I've got to keep the mindsets really strong here."

'It's tough with a young group'Chris Willock and Ilias Chair have not featured for QPR since 11 and 25 February respectively

Ainsworth, 49, was second in the list of longest-serving managers in the English Football League when he left Wycombe to take over at Rangers, replacing Neil Critchley, who was in charge for just 12 games.

But Rangers have been beset by injuries during Ainsworth's brief tenure, without the services of players including Leon Balogun, Ilias Chair and Chris Willock.

"They're a young squad, especially when you're playing without Balogun and even Chair - he's a wily old fox even in his young age in that he's played a lot of games," Ainsworth added.

"There is a case of knowing how to win a game rather than just playing good football to win a game. I think Birmingham had a lot of experience in their team.

"It's something I've looked into at this club and there are one or two things I would love to change but during the season you can't, there's no window, so we need to make sure we find out how to win games.

"I've given two debuts in four games now. I'll be teaching these youngsters how to win games - it's a really tough job and I'm looking forward to rebuilding but first of all let's get the points on the board for this season."


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