Profile: Gareth Ainsworth

Gareth Ainsworth

Gareth Ainsworth

First published in News Bucks Free Press: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

CARETAKER manager Gareth Ainsworth has seen and done pretty much everything in a football career spanning more than 20 years.

From being rejected by boyhood heroes Blackburn Rovers to playing in the Premier League and even having a spell as manager, the 39-year-old has had an eventful life.

He's still held in high regard by fans of Lincoln City, Preston North End, QPR and Port Vale - clubs he served with great distinction earlier in his career.

Known universally as Gaz, he's also been hugely popular with fans, team mates and staff at Wanderers since joining in 2009.

Named player of the year in his first season despite making just 14 appearances, he became a talismanic figure in the Blues side that were promoted in 2011.

Ainsworth's been in the backround since then as the advancing years creep up on him but he's started the last two Wanderers games and scored at Exeter on Tuesday.

He's made no secret of his ambition to become a manager but has also said he will hang up his playing boots when he does eventually get put in charge.

He does have experience of the managerial dugout however from his time at Queens Park Rangers, having two spells as caretaker manager of the Loftus Road club.

When filling in after Iain Dowie's sacking in October 2008 he guided the R's to two Championship wins and two defeats, while the Hoops were also narrowly beaten 1-0 by Manchester United at Old Trafford in the League Cup.

His first spell as caretaker ended with Paulo Sousa's appointment, but the Portuguese was sacked towards the end of the season. Again Ainsworth filled in for five games, of which QPR lost three, drew one and won one.

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