Many doubt QPR this season. Fans, neutrals, reporters and so on, have hardly given QPR and Ainsworth a chance. But after five games of the season, the R’s find themselves with six points on the board, and a one point lead over Watford; the team who thumped them 4-0 on the opening day of the campaign.
There’s a few teams looking worse off than QPR this season with one of them being Middlesbrough. QPR came and conquered last Saturday, with Ainsworth outthinking a much younger, much more ‘contemporary’ boss in Michael Carrick to claim an eventual 2-0 win.
Whilst the expectation remains rather low for QPR, there is a growing expectation that they can finish above the drop zone this season; though a large part of their survival chances this season remains a reliance on teams like Middlesbrough, Sheffield Wednesday, Rotherham United, Huddersfield Town etc, not finding form at any point.
But looking back at the doubt over Ainsworth’s reign, stemming from his appointment last season and bleeding into the summer transfer window, which, as time goes by, is proving to be a rather shrewd one, albeit with a lack of striker signings being a potential pitfall for later in the season, there’s definite reason for QPR fans to be happy during this month’s international break.
And there’s absolute reason to believe that Ainsworth is the factor behind this better-than-expected start to the season. He remains a manager notorious for playing direct, lump-it football, but Ainsworth showed no remorse in changing his style of play following the opening day defeat v Watford, with the R’s now playing somewhat positive, almost attractive football, which few would’ve thought to expect this season.
Wins over Cardiff City and Middlesbrough have been complemented by narrow defeats against the likes of Ipswich Town and Southampton; the latter being very fortunate to come away with three points that day.
Ainsworth is getting the best out of what he’s got with names like Andre Dozzell starting to shine. Osman Kakay is another who’s playing very well and Paul Smyth too; a rather underwhelming summer signing for most, but a player who’s rapidly becoming a fan favourite in his second spell at the club.
There’s definitely a feel-good factor at the club and it all comes down to Ainsworth. He had critics last season and over the summer, and he did himself no favours when previously talking about how much of a tough season this would be for QPR. Then, post-Watford, it looked like that predicted doom and gloom had proved itself a reality.
The reality is is that QPR are in a bad way right now. Times are tough for the club but Ainsworth has so far done an excellent job to get as many points on the board as he has. There is of course a long, long way to go this season, but the growing expectation is that QPR will be a Championship side for a while longer yet.