Gareth Ainsworth ‘absolutely elated’ after QPR secure Championship survival



Posted Sunday, April 30, 2023 by PA

Gareth Ainsworth ‘absolutely elated’ after QPR secure Championship survival

Gareth Ainsworth expressed his pride as QPR secured their Sky Bet Championship survival with a 1-0 win at Stoke.

Albert Adomah’s second-half winner proved to be the difference as the Hoops secured back-to-back wins for the first time since October.

In the process Ainsworth’s side extended their unbeaten run to three games and moved six points above the relegation zone with one game remaining.

The Potters offered little resistance, but the Rs were indebted to goalkeeper Seny Dieng after his string of impressive saves late on.

“I’m absolutely elated,” Ainsworth said. “You don’t want to celebrate too much because of the season we’ve had, but we’ve got to celebrate it.

“To everyone around us, we were down six weeks ago.

“People were writing us off and I’ve got to make sure the boys know how good they’ve been over the last month.

“I’ve been here eight weeks now; the first three weren’t pretty and I was trying to bring a new energy and approach to games.

“The last two away performances the lads have been magnificent and they have won us the game today.

“The fans were our 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th man today; they were brilliant and they never stopped.

“I’ve had some dark nights and in a tougher place than I’ve probably ever been in football management.

“But picking yourself up and being consistently you, it’s my way and I’m proud that I do that.

“Coming in and being energetic, and unashamedly me and consistent with what I believe, I never waned once in my belief.

“The boys and my staff deserve all the credit because they’ve been sensational and probably saved people’s jobs at QPR.

“I can’t wait to get stuck into a transfer window and a new pre-season with the boys in the Championship.”

Stoke slipped to a fourth successive home league defeat for the first time since 2019 as they disappointed again.

The Potters had to wait until the 74th minute to register their first effort as their winless run stretched to six games.

“We haven’t been good enough across the season,” Stoke boss Alex Neil said. “We realise that and our home form has been shocking.

“It’s actually embarrassing walking round at the end (for the lap of appreciation) but we’ve got a right to appreciate their efforts more than ours.

“We’ve got no right to have fans stay back and clap – that was a painful experience.

“It’s been a really disappointing season, but we’ve got a massive summer ahead of us for next year.

“Today’s irrelevant because we haven’t won enough games at home in particular and that game’s been on repeat for a while now.

“It’s an easy fix for us; we need variation in the squad so it’s fixable when we’ve got the right personnel.

“Even if I didn’t want it to be a busy summer, I don’t think I’ve got much of an option.

“We’ve got seven loanees and five or six out of contract, so automatically we’ve got 12 players that potentially won’t be here.

“That’s half a squad so it’s going to be a huge summer for us.

“I’m really confident that we’ll be far better next season and I know it’s no consolation to the fans at the moment, but I’m hoping that next season we’ll be a lot better.”

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