Ainsworth defiant despite another QPR defeat

Gareth Ainsworth insisted the mood in the QPR squad has been transformed and results will improve despite the awful run continuing with a defeat at Rotherham.

Rangers are down to 20th in the table after a fifth consecutive loss, have not won in 13 matches, have won just one of their past 20, and have been beaten 3-1 in both new boss Ainsworth’s two matches in charge.

But he declared: “I’ve got the spirit up. (Compared) To when I walked in 10 days ago, there’s a totally different spirit and totally different energy about the place.

“I’m pleased with that, but from my first squad last week we lost three players to injury and that’s hard to take.

“We’ll try and patch things up as much as we can and hopefully some of these boys will be back soon.

“The energy around the place is totally lifted. We believe in something now and I just want to get that first result for the boys to justify that belief from me.

“I couldn’t ask any more for their efforts. They’re a great bunch of lads.

“It’s just a tough place this season – huge injury list, third manager – and we’re just trying to claw together a team that can get results.

“We’ve got some real good players, some real men, some real warriors in there. We will not take what’s happening lightly. We’ll scrap for everything.

“We’re on this run at the moment and have got to break it somehow.”

With playmaker Ilias Chair having joined the list of players unavailable, Rangers were dealt another blow when left-back Kenneth Paal picked up an injury ahead of the game.

That led to a reshuffle in defence, with right-back Aaron Drewe coming in for his league debut and Osman Kakay switching to left-back.

All three Rotherham goals – two of which were scored by former QPR loanee Jordan Hugill – came as the result of poor defending.

Ainsworth said: “If you give chances away like we did then you’re going to get punished at this level. We had chances at the other end but didn’t hit the target enough.

“I was pleased, which is crazy to say after a 3-1 defeat again, that we’ve created more chances than we’ve done in a long time.

“Hitting the target is definitely an issue. We need to get better at that. And a couple of naive things for their goals was the story of the game.

“They’re giving everything and I can’t fault them, but we’ve got to be better in both boxes.”