Are one of the in-form League One promotion candidates about to lose their manager?
Gareth Ainsworth, the manager of in-form Wycombe Wanderers, has been approached to take over the vacant managerial post at Championship side QPR Rangers. He is already an odds on favourite to get the job with Sky Bet following Sunday’s sacking of Neil Critchley after just 12 games in charge at Loftus Road.
It’s been reported a compensation fee with the Chairboys has been agreed and the decision now rests with Ainsworth. He has been manager of Wycombe since 2012 which makes him the second-longest serving manager in the Football League after Simon Weaver of Harrogate Town.
Ainsworth is a former QPR player and did two brief stints as caretaker-manager at Loftus Road. He has been linked with the QPR position on a couple of occasions in the past.
Ainsworth spent seven seasons with the Hoops between 2003 and 2010 as a player and scored 22 goals in 152 matches.
The 49 year-old steered Wycombe into the Championship for the only time in the club’s history in 2019-20, but only after a controversial points-per-game formula was employed to determine finishing positions in a Covid-shortened season.
Predictably Wycombe came straight back down again, but they lost in the League One play-off final to Sunderland last season and are challenging strongly for the play-offs again this term.
A 1-0 win over Bolton Wanderers at Adams Park completed five straight League One wins for the first time in the club’s history on Saturday, although Wycombe’s dubious tactical approach was again questioned after the game by a rival manager. Time-wasting and tactical fouls to halt opposition momentum have been common complaints by teams taking on Ainsworth’s side.
Ainsworth remains a popular figure within the game though.
Wycombe outplayed Posh twice this season winning 3-1 at Adams Park and 3-0 at London Road. The latter defeat on New Year’s day signalled the end of Grant McCann’s reign as Posh boss and the return to the club of Darren Ferguson.
Wycombe are currently seventh in League One, two places and six points clear of Posh who have a game in hand.