Gareth Ainsworth believes ‘sensational’ QPR are on upward curve



Posted Sunday, September 03, 2023 by PA

Gareth Ainsworth believes ‘sensational’ QPR are on upward curve

Gareth Ainsworth thinks QPR are ready to surprise the Championship after beating winless Middlesbrough 2-0 to leave them bottom of the table.

Andre Dozzell’s thunderbolt opener that crashed in off the inside of the post two minutes before half-time put Rangers on track for a second win of the season. It was his first in two years with the club.

And with 19 minutes remaining former Sunderland and Newcastle midfielder Jack Colback added the second on Teesside when he fired in through a crowded area.

Ainsworth, who did not add to his squad on transfer deadline day, thinks he has seen enough already this season to suggest QPR are going to make an impact on the division.

“The enjoyment comes from getting what you deserve, over the last three or four weeks,” said Ainsworth.

“I have had a good look at myself. How I want to play. And the boys are buying into the identity. They have emptied the tank for us.

“You can put the systems in place but you can’t always get them to empty the tank. These boys are a real team for me.

“I did a little graph before the game and showed them where I want them to go, they have bought into this upward curve. I have just said this isn’t a flash in the pan. It’s been sensational and two great goals.

“As a man who shoots from distance, Andre’s goal eclipsed my goals, that was so special.

“I’m really pleased for him, and I hope he takes a leaf out of Jack’s book of two in two – that’s one player we didn’t sign for his goalscoring quality.”

While Ainsworth was impressed, Boro counterpart Michael Carrick was left wondering how his side are still searching for a first league win. Middlesbrough have claimed just one point from 15.

Sam Greenwood and Lewis O’Brien, signed on loan from Leeds and Nottingham Forest respectively, both made second-half debuts for Middlesbrough but QPR claimed the points.

Middlesbrough, last season’s play-off semi-finalists, signed 12 players during the summer window, so the squad has a completely different feel to it.

One of those newcomers, striker Emmanuel Latte Lath, was denied a goal on numerous occasions by QPR goalkeeper Asmir Begovic.

Carrick said: “I’m disappointed really. We didn’t help ourselves for spells in the game, we had big chances as well, opportunities to score. We will accept it wasn’t good enough in general, that’s clear but at the same point we had the chances to take.

“We can’t keep saying it, we have to do something about it. I’m disappointed for the players, supporters, it’s not great for them to see that. Players have to find a way to get that spark back that we lacked today.

“Missing chances is part of it, the fact we are making a lot, clear-cut ones as well. Sometimes there is a spell when they don’t fall for you, but it is up to us to do something about it and make sure it doesn’t happen.

“We are having really big chances. That gives us a lot of confidence.

“There were a few things, we didn’t start as well as we could have. There are reasons we will have to look at. A slow start to the game made it harder, we were chasing after that. There were moments when we looked good and it was a mixed bag.”

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