EFL

QPR sack boss Gareth Ainsworth after sixth successive league defeat

By Sports Desk October 28, 2023

QPR have sacked manager Gareth Ainsworth following defeat to Sky Bet Championship leaders Leicester on Saturday.

Goalscorer Andre Dozzell was sent off before Harry Winks inflicted a sixth straight loss which spelled the end of former Rangers midfielder Ainsworth’s reign.

CEO Lee Hoos told the club’s website: “Making a call such as this is never easy. Many supporters have told me in recent months that they have never wanted someone to succeed more than Gareth, which is an indication of the fondness everyone associated with QPR has for him.

“Unfortunately, results this season haven’t gone the way we all wanted and we feel a change is necessary.

“Gareth has been a pleasure to work with from the moment he arrived and I am truly sorry this has not worked out as we all had hoped.”

After Stephy Mavididi opened the scoring on the half-hour, Dozzell equalised shortly before the interval – but the midfielder was dismissed early in the second half for two quick cautions.

Abdul Fatawu reacted angrily to a challenge from Dozzell, who raised a hand towards the Leicester winger and was shown a first yellow card for the foul followed swiftly by another for the retaliation.

Rangers battled hard but Leicester made their numerical advantage count with 10 minutes left when Winks rifled in a right-footed strike for his first goal since moving from Tottenham.

Speaking before his departure, Ainsworth bemoaned his side’s “naivety” after they had a man sent off for the second successive match.

It came after Jimmy Dunne was dismissed during the midweek defeat at West Brom, also for picking up two yellow cards in quick succession.

“Naivety has cost us again. It’s cost us over the past two games,” Ainsworth said.

“Out of the four bookings that have cost us two red cards, I think there’s only one legitimate foul in there and the rest has been just stupidity.

“Andre has reacted just as Fatawu wanted him to. The referee has no choice but to give a second yellow.

“We had a plan put in place that I think was working, but again you need 11 men, especially against the top-of-the-league team.

“I thought there were some superb performances for us. There wasn’t much in the game at all until Andre falls for the trick of gamesmanship from Fatawu.

“Andre has to learn from that. It was always going to be tough after that. It still took a world-class goal to beat us.”

Leicester boss Enzo Maresca insisted there must be no let-up from his side after they maintained their commanding lead at the top of the table.

The Foxes are five points clear of second-placed Ipswich and 14 clear of Leeds, seemingly on course for an immediate return to the top flight in Maresca’s first season at the helm.

The Italian coach, though, warned against any sense of complacency.

“We have just one problem: we are still in October. I would like to still be in the same position in February, March and April,” he said.

“You can lose a game for many reasons, but for sure you can lose a game if you have a drop in intensity. We know that because we always mention that.

“As long as we remain with the same intensity then we can win more games than we lose.

“But the players deserve it. The way they work on the ball and off the ball, they make an unbelievable effort. They are open-minded and fantastic.”

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