Laird praised for ‘great reaction’ to being axed by QPR boss

QPR: Ethan Laird
Ethan Laird started his loan spell in fine form (Picture: Ian Randall Photography)

Gareth Ainsworth has praised Ethan Laird for his reaction to being left out of the QPR squad.

Laird’s season-long loan from Manchester United started well but his fitness and form subsequently deteriorated.

R’s boss Ainsworth recently dropped him from the squad altogether – even though Osman Kakay is out injured – and instead opted to play Aaron Drewe at right-back.

With the campaign almost over, it meant there was a chance that Laird, 21, had made his final appearance for the club.

But with Drewe having struggled during the first half of Saturday’s game at Burnley, Laird was sent on and played a key role in the 2-1 victory.

Ainsworth said: “When you leave a player out of the squad a lot of people question it and wonder why.

“As the manager it’s my job to get the best out of the players and if leaving someone out of the squad gets the best out of them then it’s the right decision.

“It was a great reaction from Ethan. He’s a good lad and we forget he’s younger than Aaron Drewe – people don’t even realise that.

“He’s a very young boy and these players need to develop.”

Meanwhile, Jake Clarke-Salter is set to be available for QPR’s trip to Stoke.

Ainsworth has revealed he received a text message from Burnley boss Vincent Kompany congratulating him for Saturday’s win. 

And Mick Beale is expected to make a move for Chris Willock when the season finishes.