QPR’s Dozzell has ‘changed his mindset’

Gareth Ainsworth has praised QPR midfielder Andre Dozzell and believes playing him alongside the more defensively-minded Jack Colback and Sam Field can be the key to finally unlocking his potential.

Dozzell, who turned 24 in May, has flattered to deceive since being signed in 2021 from Ipswich.

Ainsworth is the fourth manager Dozzell has played under at QPR.

After encouraging performances against Cardiff and Ipswich, he produced arguably his best display in a Rangers shirt in the 2-1 loss at Southampton last week.

The presence of Colback and Field at St Mary’s allowed Dozzell to get forward more, which Ainsworth hopes can finally help him become the player Rangers hoped for when they signed him.

“When I came in last year I felt a bit for Andre because he wasn’t getting up to the potential that he had been billed as,” Ainsworth said.

“But from this season, I can honestly say from the moment he walked in in July Andre has changed his mindset and is having a real go.

“I think he enjoys what we are doing here, he enjoys the culture now and I think the two lads behind him let him have the ball and open himself up.

“He played some fantastic balls and passes last Saturday, won some great 50-50s and, with Jack Colback and Sam Field behind him – well, most of us could play in front of them.

“They are both very good players and keep the place secure. So I’m pleased for Andre.”

Ainsworth says he noticed a change of mentality from Dozzell when the players reported back for pre-season.

“I want to give him a bit of credit for the attitude he has come in with,” Ainsworth said.

“He has seen a window and said to himself, ‘the gaffer might bring in some midfielders, but I want to show what I can do’ and he has delivered and I’m really pleased for him.”