Dunne backed for QPR right-back role

Jimmy Dunne played at right-back prior to joining QPR (Picture: Ian Randall | MI News)

QPR boss Gareth Ainsworth has no doubts about Jimmy Dunne’s ability to play at right-back. 

Dunne was preferred to Ethan Laird for Monday’s 2-2 draw at West Brom after Ainsworth made changes following the poor display from his side in the defeat by Preston on Good Friday.

Dunne, usually a centre-back, had played at right-back previously.

“It was the first time he has played there at QPR but he played there many times in a loan spell at Accrington Stanley and for Ireland as well,” Ainsworth explained.

“It’s not a role he’s unaccustomed to. I think centre-halves should be able to play as right-back as long as they have the physical attributes, and I thought Jimmy did well there.

“There are a couple of things we picked up on that we will keep in-house, but he is always a threat from set-pieces as well, so it’s always good to have him in the team.

“He is a great lad as well. He missed out on a lot of football because he was held back a little bit at Man United and Burnley and is still developing in his early 20s – and if he does play there again he will do a good job.”

Earlier in the season, under ex-boss Mick Beale, QPR’s full-backs Laird and Kenneth Paal were encouraged to push on aggressively up the field.

But Ainsworth does not believe that deploying a centre-back at right-back is a negative move.

“Jimmy can definitely get forward and get crosses in. He had a couple of attempts at West Brom that were blocked. You can’t have your right-back sitting-in the whole game,” Ainsworth said.

“We had Albert (Adomah) in front of him and it’s difficult to overlap Albert because he is very direct and likes to get to the full-back and get his crosses in.

“It was all thought out. It wasn’t a case of getting the bingo machine out and picking out numbers.

“There is a structure towards it and we felt Jimmy could do a job because he has the physical attributes to get up and down and because he is quick.”

Meanwhile, Tyler Roberts could return to the QPR squad for Saturday’s vital game against Coventry.