Ainsworth tips Armstrong to shine after QPR youngster’s first goal

Gareth Ainsworth has tipped Sinclair Armstrong to trouble Championship defences this season after his impressive display for QPR at Cardiff on Saturday.

Armstrong, who turned 20 in June, scored his first senior goal and set up Rangers’ second for Kenneth Paal in a 2-1 win in the Welsh capital in only his second first-team start.

The Republic of Ireland Under-21 international was named in the side after boss Ainsworth changed his formation and style of play following last Saturday’s 4-0 humiliation at Watford.

“We have worked hard with Sincs this week on what he is good at; pace and power,” Ainsworth said.

“If we can keep opening up the spaces for him to use then he’ll be a threat to any defence.

“I told him at the hotel he was going to score his first goal, and the beaming smile on his face gave me confidence, never mind him.”

Armstrong, who joined from Shamrock Rovers three years ago, went close to opening his account on numerous occasions after coming off the bench last season.

He could hardly miss at the Cardiff City Stadium when he turned in Paul Smyth’s low cross from close range.

“The way Paul Smyth put it on a plate for him for was brilliant, but I was really pleased with the composure he showed for the second goal and Kenneth made an unbelievable 50-yard run for a great finish,” Ainsworth said.

“Sincs is still a work in progress but I think we have a real diamond there.”

Armstrong was forced off with cramp in the second half and Ainsworth conceded he still needs to get to grips with the rigours of the Championship.

“He is young, he has come out of a lower level in Ireland and due to the intensity of the Championship he hasn’t really had enough games to go to the well and know what it feels like,” Ainsworth said.

“But he will get there. We’ll get him fitter but there is a trade off that we don’t want him injured.

“He is a powerful boy, he’s like a 100-metre sprinter and the fastest player I have ever worked with.”