Ainsworth ‘hurt’ after humiliating QPR defeat

Gareth Ainsworth apologised to QPR fans after an horrific 6-1 loss at Blackpool – the heaviest defeat of his managerial career.

Rangers’ defending, particularly from set-pieces, was atrocious as they were embarrassed by a side that had won only once in the league since October.

Saturday’s battling victory at home to Watford – Rangers’ first win 14 matches and their first under Ainsworth – raised hopes of a recovery and moved them 10 points clear of third-from-bottom Blackpool.

That gap has now been cut back to seven points, leaving them still in danger of relegation.

Ainsworth said: “We’ve got to defend set-pieces a lot better than we did, because five of their goals were from set-pieces.

“If we can’t defend set-pieces, we’re going to be in trouble. We’ve got to get better at that.

“We work on them, they were brilliant at it on Saturday, and we had a meeting before the game and told the boys how well they’ve been doing at set-pieces.

“I’ve never had a six in my career and that’s a real trouncing and I’m really disappointed with the boys, but I’m part of that and I’m disappointed in myself. That’s not good enough.”

Rangers looked very much like a relegation team during a simply appalling performance at Bloomfield Road, where they were 3-0 down within 14 minutes.

However, Ainsworth insisted he was not worried they might go down.

He said: “I’m not worried, no. I’m confident that we’ve got enough to get the points on the board to keep us in the Championship.

“But I’ll make no bones about this one; this is Blackpool, who have struggled for wins all season, and they’ve smashed us 6-1.

“It was the set-pieces. We looked nervous. We looked weak. We’ve got to get over this.

“We’ve got a good side – plenty in the treatment room and they’ll be back soon – but I expect these boys to stand up better than that.

“It hurts me. I’ve got enormous pride and that’s my biggest defeat as a manager

“I just want to apologise to all the fans because for QPR that’s an unacceptable performance.

“I’m hurt. I wish I could get my boots on and get out there, because I know what I’d give. I wouldn’t let anyone get a free header.

“But these are young boys and they’re fragile at the moment. They’ve had three managers this season, all sorts going on at the club, and I’ve got to pick them up and make sure we get enough points to build next year in the Championship.

“That’s my aim and I’d walk over broken glass to do it because I love this club and I played in a QPR team that scrapped.”