Leeds United, Leicester City and Sunderland’s Championship rivals sack manager

Puma match ball on a plinth during the Sky Bet League One match at the Abbey Stadium, Cambridge. Picture date: Monday September 4, 2023. PA Photo. See PA story SOCCER Cambridge. Photo credit should read: Simon Marper/PA Wire.

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Leeds United’s Championship rivals Queens Park Rangers have sacked manager Gareth Ainsworth following a 2-1 home defeat to league leaders Leicester City.

The 50-year-old won just five of his 28 games in charge at Loftus Road, after joining the London club from Wycombe Wanderers in February. He helped them avoid relegation last term but has oversaw just two wins in 14 matches this season. Ainsworth’s assistant Richard Dobson has also left the club.

A 1-0 loss at Leeds at the beginning of October was the second match in a six-game losing run. QPR CEO Lee Hoos said: “Making a call such as this is never easy, and it is even more difficult when you have such respect on both a personal and professional level for the individuals concerned - which we all do for Gareth and Richard.

“Many supporters have told me in recent months that they have never wanted someone to succeed more than Gareth, which is an indication of the fondness everyone associated with QPR has for him. Unfortunately, results this season haven’t gone the way we all wanted and we feel a change is necessary.

“Gareth has been a pleasure to work with from the moment he arrived and I am truly sorry this has not worked out as we all had hoped. On behalf of the board, I wholeheartedly thank Gareth for his commitment, desire, passion and professionalism. We all have the utmost respect for him, and he will always be welcome here.

“We understand the importance of appointing a new head coach quickly and an announcement on this will follow in the coming days.”

Leicester’s win over QPR saw them maintain their strong start to the season with the Foxes winning 13 of their opening 14 Championship matches. They are 14 points ahead of Leeds, who enjoyed a fine win over West Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield Town on Saturday afternoon to stay third in the table.