QPR CEO Lee Hoos reveals QPR stance on Gareth Ainsworth

Lee Hoos, the CEO of QPR, has expressed his support for manager Gareth Ainsworth in the face of recent challenges. Hoos believes that the team will make significant progress due to their recent training ground efforts. Additionally, he has defended the playing style employed under Ainsworth, stating that the 50-year-old has introduced changes in recent weeks.

QPR has faced a challenging year, as they were leading the Championship in October 2022 but experienced a notable decline in their performance. Following the departure of Michael Beale and Neil Critchley’s unsuccessful tenure as head coach, the club turned to Ainsworth, a beloved former player, to help them avoid relegation from the Championship. While they managed to stay in the league, a poor start to the 2023/24 season, marked by disappointing results and performances, has put Ainsworth under renewed pressure, with the team currently in the relegation zone.


Championship Table (As it stands w/c October 9th)
Team P GD Pts
17 Blackburn Rovers 11 -4 13
18 Plymouth Argyle 11 -1 11
19 Huddersfield Town 11 -7 11
20 Watford 11 -2 10
21 Stoke City 11 -6 10
22 QPR 11 -12 8
23 Rotherham United 11 -12 6
24 Sheffield Wednesday 11 -13 3

There were calls from parts of the fanbase for Ainsworth to get his marching orders after the 4-0 defeat to Blackburn Rovers and the October international break seemed a good time to make that sort of call.

The dissenting voices only grew louder when John Eustace, a former R’s assistant, became available after being replaced despite doing an impressive job at Birmingham City but no such decision has been made.

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What is QPR’s stance on Gareth Ainsworth?

Speaking to The Athletic, Hoos has made it clear that Ainsworth retains the backing of the Championship club and backed him to turn things around.

He said: “One of the reasons we hired Gareth was that he can adapt, innovate and try new things. He did something different for Blackburn, which didn’t work out. But he’ll go back, address that, and he’s done some different things in training the last couple of weeks. I would expect to see us spring forward.”

Hoos also defended Ainsworth against those that criticise his direct style of play and suggested that the side’s approach has changed recently.

He said: “I’m not sure we always give up possession, the last five games that hasn’t been the case. I thought it had been fairly even. People got that from last year but he switched that after the first few games of this season, it’s a lot closer than people think (the two teams in possession) but because that perception is at the back of people’s minds that’s always what they fasten on to.

“There’s been an effort to change that. What drives me nuts is when managers keep saying, ‘We’ve got to do this better’, and do the same thing over and over and expect to get different results.”

Are QPR right to stand by Gareth Ainsworth?

If the R’s were going to make a change, then the October international break does seem like it was the ideal opportunity.

There was a point earlier in the season when it looked as though Ainsworth was beginning to turn the tide and was getting more out of the squad than expected but the last weeks before the break were really poor – both in terms of results and performances.

They have issues at both ends – having scored the second-fewest goals in the Championship and conceded the fourth most as well as averaging the fourth least shots for and fifth most shots against per game (Whoscored).

It looked like the squad wasn’t playing for him at the end of the Blackburn defeat and with Eustace available, you did wonder whether a change could be made.

The R’s have stuck by him but if things haven’t changed by the next international break, then they would be remiss not to consider his future seriously.

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