Ainsworth remains defiant after QPR defeat

Gareth Ainsworth praised QPR for their “resilience” after their defeat at Leeds – and again predicted that his side will be a surprise package in the Championship this season.

Rangers, who almost went down under boss Ainsworth last season and were among the favourites for relegation this term, were beaten 1-0 at Elland Road and remain in the bottom three.

But Ainsworth has consistently insisted that they will finish well clear of the drop zone.

And he took heart from the fact that Leeds did not add to their goal tally after scoring on nine minutes.

Ainsworth said: “We’ve had a couple of collapses under me. We’d had a couple when one’s gone in and then two and three within a very short space of time.

“So, resilience-wise, I’m very proud of the boys. They gave everything. I asked them for a bit more of the committed work-rate.

“We gave that tonight but what we lost was the quality on the ball. Put those two things together and I think we’ve got a good side. I think we’ll beat teams. I think we’re going to finish way higher than people expect us to finish.

“They chucked themselves in front of things. They tackled, headed, they gave everything. As a manager you cannot ask for any more.

“I know we’re on a sticky run at the minute. It’s five games without a win but there’s two draws in there. It’s so finely balanced and if we can turn those into wins then we’ll climb that table pretty quick.

“A 1-0 defeat at Elland Road, it’s not a positive but you can build on those things and build on that resilience, because a lot of teams will come here and be on the wrong end of big scorelines.”

Rangers ended the match with 10 men, and striker Lyndon Dykes in goal, after keeper Asmir Begovic was red-carded in stoppage time for bringing down Patrick Bamford.

But Begovic made no contact with the striker – which Bamford admitted to Ainsworth after the match – and the chances of a successful appeal against the sending-off therefore appear to be strong.

Ainsworth said: “He doesn’t touch him. I’ve had verification from both players that there was no contact.

“Patrick’s a great lad. He’s just jumped out of the way and the referee thought he’s caught him.

“So hopefully we may be able to get it overturned. I’ll have to speak to the powers-that-be at QPR and see if we can appeal it.”