Luton's Championship rivals QPR appoint Wycombe boss Ainsworth as manager

Gareth Ainsworth has taken over at QPRGareth Ainsworth has taken over at QPR
Gareth Ainsworth has taken over at QPR
Long-serving Chairboys chief returns to Loftus Road

Luton’s Championship rivals QPR have appointed long-serving Wycombe Wanderers boss Gareth Ainsworth as their new manager.

The 49-year-old takes over from Neil Critchley, who was sacked on Sunday, after a run of just one win from 12 games.

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After spending more than a decade at the Chairboys, where he won promotion to the Championship in 2020, Ainsworth has returned to Loftus Road, to take over a club he made 152 appearances for as a player between 2003 and 2010.

On his appointment, Ainsworth, who also had two spells as caretaker manager during 2008-09, said “It has been a whirlwind two days and leaving Wycombe Wanderers was very tough because of the connection there.

“But this is QPR and when I spoke about something special forcing me away from Wycombe, this was pretty special.

“It’s the club where I was most known for playing and you get moments in your career that resonate with you forever.

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“I loved my time here as a player and hopefully I can go on and love my time here as a manager as well.

“I really want to challenge myself. This is going to be a real challenge because the club is so special to me, and so huge as well.

“I want to get Loftus Road absolutely rocking again and I hope the fans will get right behind me and right behind the team.

“To be trusted by the board here and those above me, I want to be able to pay them back in droves.

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"I will be giving my absolute everything for this football club.”

R’s director of football Les Ferdinand added: “After an encouraging start, this season has provided enormous challenges.

“We understand the frustration of the fans and are hugely grateful for their support.

“I know Gareth is looking forward to seeing them at Loftus Road on Saturday and he can’t wait to get going.”