Next QPR manager: Bristol Rovers boss Joey Barton among possible contenders

Championship club QPR are on the search for their third manager of the season
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Queens Park Rangers are on the search for their third manager of the season after parting ways with Neil Critchley on Sunday evening.

Critchley was appointed as Michael Beale's successor after the latter left Loftus Road to take up the Rangers job, where he worked as assistant manager to Steven Gerrard. Critchley also worked under Gerrard but at Aston Villa, and left his job as manager of Blackpool to become Gerrard's right-hand man after Beale joined QPR.

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QPR however are now in need of another manager after they parted company with Critchley after just 12 games in charge of the West London club. They are 10 games without a win and have dropped down to 17th in the table, with just eight points separating them and the relegation zone. Critchley won his first game against Preston but has only picked up five points from a possible 30 since then.

Les Ferdinand, the director of football at QPR, said that 'a swift appointment needs to be made' and so Critchley's successor could be appointed as early as this week. QPR do not want to get dragged in to a relegation battle and their next appointment will be key, after Cardiff, Wigan, Huddersfield and Blackpool all changed their manager over the last month-and-a-half.

As to who could replace Critchley in the QPR hot seat, Wycome Wanderers boss Gareth Ainsworth has emerged as the front-runner for the job. A report from Football Insider claims that an approach to the League One club is 'imminent' and that he is the leading contender. The 49-year-old previously played for QPR between 2003 and 2010, and was twice their caretaker manager before he resumed his playing career with Wycombe, later going on to become their boss in November 2012.

Ainsworth during his 10-and-a-half-year rein at Adams Park has been linked with numerous roles, but has remained loyal to the Chairboys. Wycome are currently seventh and are just three points off of the play-offs, after suffering heartache in the play-off final to Sunderland last May.

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Another former QPR player could be considered for the role however, with Bristol Rovers boss Joey Barton sixth favourite for the post. Barton spent four seasons as a player at QPR, and helped lead them to promotion from the Premier League in 2014 when Harry Redknapp was manager. He made 99 appearances and scored seven goals during his time there and also helped keep them up in 2012, despite being sent off against Manchester City in their final game.

Barton is behind the likes of Nathan Jones, who was recently sacked by Southampton, as well as Frank Lampard, who was replaced by Barton’s coaching mentor Sean Dyche at Everton.

Next QPR manager (as per BettingOdds)

Gareth Ainsworth - 2/5

Nathan Jones - 5/2

Shaun Derry - 8/1

Chris Wilder - 10/1

Frank Lampard - 20/1

Joey Barton - 25/1

(Odds courtesy of BetVictor and correct at time of publication, please gamble responsibly)

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