Gareth Ainsworth: QPR can avoid relegation despite worrying form

Posted Thursday, April 20, 2023 by PA

Gareth Ainsworth: QPR can avoid relegation despite worrying form

QPR boss Gareth Ainsworth insisted his players believe they can avoid the drop despite their relegation worries worsening after a 1-1 draw at home to Norwich.

Rangers, who were top of the Sky Bet Championship in October, have slid down the table with an appalling run of just one league win in 20 matches.

But Ainsworth is adamant that the players still feel confident they can save Rangers, who are a point and a place above the drop zone.

He said: “Of course they do. Without a shadow of a doubt they feel they can stay up.

“We’re not even below the line, and that’s important, but there are going to be twists and turns.

“The boys know exactly where they’ve been, sliding for quite a while now, and it’s about trying to address that slide and stopping the rot.”

Fellow strugglers Cardiff and Reading won at Watford and drew with Luton respectively.

“We’d prefer those teams not to get results, but it’s in our hands and that’s what I’ve been saying to the boys,” Ainsworth said.

“I think it’s going to go to the wire without a doubt. There are five or six teams there and we’re going to try to get as many points as we can to get out of this.

“We didn’t get beaten by a team that’s pushing for the play-offs, so I think it’s a good result. But we do need more points – I know that – and we’ve got to make sure we keep playing with the same attitude.”

Lyndon Dykes’ ninth-minute goal put QPR ahead but Adam Idah, sent on as a half-time substitute, equalised in the first minute of the second half.

The draw leaves the Canaries 10th in the table – two points away from the play-off places.

Norwich boss David Wagner admitted that their inability to retain possession proved costly at Loftus Road.

“It’s disappointing because we only got the draw,” Wagner said.

“In the first half we didn’t start at our best, conceded a very avoidable goal where we have to stop the cross much more aggressively and with much more passion and desire.

“Apart from the last five minutes of the first half I don’t think we were very creative or put much pressure on the opponents.

“The second half was better. No complaints about the effort or how the players fought, but in possession we didn’t play to our best.

“We were not able to calm the game. Sometimes it was more like a basketball game – up and down, up and down.

“This is not how we like to play, how we’re used to playing, and unfortunately this was one of the reasons we only got a draw.

“You can’t complain about the effort of the players. But we can, and we have to, play better football in possession.”




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