‘Best in the league’ - What QPR boss said about Bristol City and Nigel Pearson

Gareth Ainsworth is hoping to emulate the job Nigel Pearson has done at Bristol City with QPR
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Gareth Ainsworth is hoping to take a leaf out of Bristol City’s book with QPR ahead of their final day clash at Loftus Road on Bank Holiday Monday.

Both sides are hoping to conclude their 2022/23 Championship campaign with a victory, to help build a platform for next year. The Hoops secured their second tier status last week, whilst the Robins are on course to register their best-ever finish under Nigel Pearson.

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Michael Beale was at the helm when QPR beat City at Ashton Gate, but he left for Rangers which was the start of their downfall, and Neil Critchley had a difficult time in charge of the West London club. Ainsworth left his job at Wycombe Wanderers in February, and has since guided them to safety.

The 49-year-old has big summer in store ahead of him, and has admitted that they could look to the Robins for inspiration. Bristol City have had to cut their cloth accordingly in recent years and have looked to the academy, with a good blend of experience.

“I’ve got a lot of respect for Nigel Pearson,” said Ainsworth in his pre-match press conference.

“I think he’s a really good guy in football. His team are playing really well and they’re a very good side. It’s something we can strive towards.

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“They’re very fit and robust. They’ve got a style they impose which is good. I think there’s a lot to learn from clubs like that. Big respect to Nigel, but I will want to beat him on Monday.”

Monday’s match at Loftus Road will make for an interesting clash, given the style of play both sides adopt. QPR gave Stoke 80% possession last week and completed just 161 passes against the Potters but managed to win through former Robins winger Albert Adomah.

City meanwhile went toe-to-toe with Championship winners Burnley and were unfortunate to be on the losing side. Pearson’s side favour a 4-3-3 formation, compared to QPR’s rigid 4-4-2, and are at their best when hitting teams on the counter-attack.

“Bristol City are a team that want you to come at them and attack,” Ainsworth added. It’s how they play, if anyone knows anything about Bristol, they’re one of the best counter-attacking teams in the league.

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“You’ve got to be careful about attacking somebody who wants you to do that. We’ve got to be careful about going gung-ho on Monday and having a big drubbing because that is what the opposition wants you to do.”

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