QPR appoint Gareth Ainsworth as manager as ‘Wild Thing’ leaves Wycombe after thirteen years
QPR have appointed Gareth Ainsworth as their new manager – ending his 12-and-a-half-year reign as Wycombe boss.
The R’s sacked Neil Critchley over the weekend after a torrid 12 games in charge.
And they have turned to ‘Wild Thing’ to try and steer them back up the Championship table, luring him away from Adams Park at long last.
Former midfielder Ainsworth played 152 times for QPR and was twice caretaker boss at Loftus Road during the 2008-09 season.
But now he is back in West London as the main man, signing a three-and-a-half-year contract.
Ainsworth said: “This is all a little bit surreal.
“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.
“I loved my time here as a player and hopefully I can go on and love my time here as a manager as well.”
Ainsworth joined QPR as a player in 2003 and helped win promotion in his first of six seasons at the club.
He transitioned into a player-coach role under Iain Dowie in 2008 and then had his brief caretaker jobs before joining Wycombe for the final years of his professional playing career, then moved into the dugout to great success.
The part time rockstar and all round brilliant player led the Chairboys to promotion to League One in 2017-18 and then up to the Championship two years later.
Wycombe suffered immediate relegation but came within 90 minutes of jumping straight back up again, losing the play off final to Sunderland last year.
Ainsworth joins a QPR side in freefall – from Championship leaders in October under Michael Beale to a side flirting with relegation after Critchley’s woeful two months in the hot seat that produced just one win from 12 matches.
The new boss – joined by assistant Richard Dobson and analyst Josh Hart – added: “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. I will be giving my absolute everything for this football club.”
QPR CEO Lee Hoos said: “We are delighted to have been able to bring Gareth in so quickly.
“I would like to thank Wycombe Wanderers for their professionalism.
“We have the utmost respect for them and are hugely sympathetic as we recognise the challenging nature of these circumstances.
“We wish them only the best for the remainder of the season and the future.”