Former Preston North End ace Gareth Ainsworth is still waiting for his Queens Park Rangers managerial career to take off.

PNE are on the road this afternoon, travelling down to Loftus Road to take on QPR.

This will be a pivotal weekend for North End, as two wins over QPR and Reading would really put the playoff push into full gear.

Today’s trip to West London means a meeting with former PNE winger Gareth Ainsworth.

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A fan favourite from three spells as a PNE player, Ainsworth has been linked with becoming North End manager in the past.

Ainsworth worked wonders at Wycombe Wanderers, guiding them into the Championship back in 2020.

Ainsworth has now secured his big move as he left Wycombe in February to become the new QPR boss.

Neil Critchley had struggled after replacing Michael Beale and Ainsworth – a former QPR player even caretaker manager – was seen as the perfect solution.

So far though, Ainsworth has been running into the same problems as Critchley.

Ainsworth has won just one of his six games in charge of QPR, which was a 1-0 victory over Watford in March.

Queens Park Rangers v Birmingham City - Sky Bet Championship
Photo by Paul Harding/Getty Images

There have been 3-1 defeats to Rotherham United and Blackburn Rovers as well as a shock 6-1 thumping at the hands of Blackpool.

Two 1-0 defeats to Birmingham City and Wigan Athletic have heaped the pressure on Ainsworth.

QPR sit 18th in the Championship, just three points clear of the relegation zone – and time is running out for Ainsworth and co to pull clear.

Today’s game is vital for both teams and Ainsworth would love to get his QPR managerial stint really up and running with a big win over PNE.

This afternoon is pivotal for North End though and they won’t care about denting a fan favourite if it means three points head back to Lancashire.

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