Ainsworth: Senior QPR players had my back

Gareth Ainsworth has managed to keep QPR up. (Picture: Ian Randall Photography)

Gareth Ainsworth says three senior QPR players – Albert Adomah, Stefan Johansen and Chris Martin – played important behind-the-scenes roles in the team’s battle against relegation.

Ainsworth, Rangers’ third head coach of the season, made a dismal start to his tenure but victories at Burnley and Stoke took the club to safety.

Veteran winger Adomah’s winner at Stoke sealed Championship survival.

And Ainsworth declared: “He’s had my back since I walked in – him, Stefan Johansen and Chris Martin just had my back. I needed those people

“I think they’ve had this (tough spell) before, whereas a lot of these youngsters were in an absolute tornado and they needed calming.”

Adomah, 35, has largely been a fringe player this season but has played a prominent role during the run-in.

“People probably wrote him off, but I’ve played him in the last couple of games,” said Ainsworth.

“I’ve done this (extended older players’ careers). I did it at Wycombe in my last job with (Adebayo) Akinfenwa, Matt Bloomfield, Joe Jacobsen and Sam Vokes – all 34-plus.

“I think there’s time left in Albert yet. People probably wrote him off a year ago, but I think there’s still time in Albert.”