Ainsworth played 90 minutes in his new role in the Rs` Reserve team as a right-back, as his side beat London rivals Charlton 2-0, thanks to goals from Romone Rose and an own goal from Chriss Solly.
And it was Ainsworth who provided the two telling crosses that led to both our goals, both being scored in the second half. The first goal came after Ainsworth bombed down the right wing and delivered a super cross into the box which was picked up by youngster Romone Rose, who slotted the ball into the net. Later, Ainsworth delivered another perfect cross into the box, forcing the Charlton defender Solly into turning the ball into his own net.
Ainsworth was delighted with the result and admitted that he took the Reserves as seriously as he did the First Team games he used to play for us. Gazza felt that the win would “filter through to all levels of QPR.” After all: “winning`s a good habit!” he admitted!
Gareth then spilt the beans on his new role as a coach, particularly on how much he is learning from First Team Head Coach, Paulo Sousa. Gazza, who still clearly enjoys playing the game, confessed that he found it “difficult to accept” that his career was moving away from the playing side. He admitted he was still passionate about playing (as evidenced by a little “handbags” incident – Gazza`s choice of words not mine! – between him and a Charlton player during the game yesterday!)
“Coaching is the future for me and hopefully I want to be involved with QPR coaching and working under Paulo. I am very lucky,” Ainsworth acknowledged. He then gave his own perspective on Paulo Sousa.
“He is very organised and very knowledgeable about football. Being on the continent and the things he`s won and the people he`s played with – he`s a wealth of knowledge.
“His preparation for games is incredible and it`s fantastic to be involved with him. I`m learning a lot at a young age and we`re a young team. I think it`s exciting times for QPR.”
Intriguingly Ainsworth divulged: “It`s a transitional period here – it`s a very big change really in playing and the way the club`s run.” Unfortunately, he did not elaborate!
Having played under many different QPR managers since joining the Rs in 2003, Gazza offered his version of the Sousa preparation methods – as much as he could, that is, without giving any trade secrets away!!
“We have meetings, we talk a lot, we do a lot of preparation on the training field. I have to say that he goes into every detail. It`s fantastic to watch, fantastic to be involved in. The players will become better players and we will become a better club because of it.” Well, did he say very much after all that?!
Gazza offered his thoughts on our up-and-coming 3rd round replay with Burnley. “It`s a difficult game to go to, Burnley. They`re a good side. A very good side on Saturday and 0 – 0 was a creditable result for us. We will be strong again going up there and we want to win. We will be going to win that one.”
He suggested that we would be concentrating on one game at a time, starting with Coventry in the League on Saturday. He also admitted, as we have all been thinking I am sure, that our current league position is “probably the healthiest position around Christmas we have had for a long time – we are only just outside.” And he agreed that if we could put a run together we could make an impact on the play-offs – well, he would say that, wouldn`t he?!
Gazza also mentioned our new signings, in particular our new right winger, Wayne Routledge. “I am disappointed they signed a new right winger,” he confessed, “they had a good one already!” (Although he did go on to admit that Routledge was a good acquisition!)
He feels we have a squad strong – “as strong as anyone in this league” and “hopefully, with a little bit of luck, we can make a serious challenge,” he concluded. Well, can we?
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