Ainsworth praises QPR youngster Drewe

Gareth Ainsworth led QPR to a much-needed win on Saturday (Picture: Ian Randall Photography)

Gareth Ainsworth has hailed Aaron Drewe for the full-back’s performances since being brought into the QPR first team.

Drewe, 22, is a product of the club’s academy and has been called upon by new boss Ainsworth because of injuries to Ethan Laird and Kenneth Paal.

He made his League debut during the recent defeat at Rotherham and was one of the star performers in Saturday’s victory over promotion-chasing Watford.

Ainsworth said: “He’s a young boy learning trade and I think we’ve got a real star of the future there and I’m looking forward to working with Aaron.

“He’s got no fear. He is absolutely fearless and that was a great display on Saturday.

“On your home debut, to play against a team with £20m players in it and you’ve come from the academy and made your debut the week before and it’s not gone brilliant – and I mean for the team, because Aaron himself has been sensational – and to pick yourself up and say ‘I’ll give you everything, gaffer’. He was brilliant.”

Drewe’s chance was unexpected and came with Rangers having slumped towards the Championship relegation zone.

But Ainsworth revealed that technical director Chris Ramsey and coach Paul Furlong vouched for Drewe, having worked with him for several years.

Ainsworth explained: “It wasn’t planned when I came in. I didn’t think I was going to start giving academy players debuts, because we’re in a scrap. But it was needs must.

“I’ve got to thank people like Chris Ramsey and Paul Furlong, who said to me ‘That boy will give you everything’.

“As soon as I heard those words I thought ‘Right, that’s good enough for me’ – and he certainly has done.”

Meanwhile, Gillingham are keen to sign QPR defender Conor Masterson on a permanent deal.