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No pressure, says new coach

PUBLISHED: 12:55 09 July 2008 | UPDATED: 13:18 24 August 2010

Gareth Ainsworth with former Rs boss Luigi de Canio

Gareth Ainsworth with former Rs boss Luigi de Canio

By Ben Kosky GARETH Ainsworth insists the QPR players are feeling no pressure despite being the bookies favourites to win promotion next season. Although they finished a middling 14th in the Championship last season, the combined wealth of Rangers owner

By Ben Kosky

GARETH Ainsworth insists the QPR players are feeling no pressure despite being the bookies' favourites to win promotion next season.

Although they finished a middling 14th in the Championship last season, the combined wealth of Rangers' owners means they are listed at just 7/4 to gain promotion in 2008-09.

But Ainsworth, who began his new role as player-coach last week, told the Times: "At the moment, we're not concentrating on what the bookies or anyone else are saying.

"That sort of thing's best left alone and I don't know where the bookies get their figures from anyway. It's all about everyone getting used to the new regime and making sure that, once that first game comes, we're ready.

"Beating Barnsley on August 9 is the number one aim and that'll stay the same all the way through pre-season.

"The lads won't feel any pressure, they're just going to get out on the pitch, express themselves and get on with their jobs. The most important thing is to make sure they're up for every game."

The veteran winger was officially handed his new title at the end of last season after acting as 'matchday assistant' to former boss Luigi de Canio through the second half of the campaign.

And, although Ainsworth is now in the middle of gaining a UEFA B coaching licence, he is at pains to stress he has no plans to call time on a playing career that spans 17 seasons.

"I want to make it clear again that there's still plenty of football in these legs," added the 35-year-old who, along with Martin Rowlands, is the Rs' longest serving player.

"When I do pack up playing, this is definitely what I want to do, and every day is like a school day for me at the moment. I'm learning new stuff every day.

"I don't think I could have a better manager to work under than Iain Dowie - he's well known for his professionalism, his work ethic and his team ethic.

"Last season was very different - it was more about helping Gigi with his English. Now I'm doing more organising and coaching and I'm very lucky to be part of a great team."

FOOTBALL League bosses are continuing to investigate Blackpool's complaint over the Kaspars Gorkss deal, even though the defender is due to complete his move to QPR in the next few days.

Blackpool have accused Rangers of making an illegal approach to the Latvian international and restated last week that the Loftus Road club did not have permission to speak to him.

A League spokesman said: "An issue has been raised by Blackpool, relating to player registration, and this matter is ongoing.


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