'He's a top guy' - QPR boss defends Super Eagles defender after row with fansPublished: April 07, 2023
QPR manager Gareth Ainsworth has come out to defend Super Eagles defender Leon Balogun after his heated confrontation with the club's fans following the 1-0 defeat to Wigan Athletic last Saturday.
Balogun, who returned from a five-month layoff, conceded the penalty which led to Wigan's goal.
The Super Eagles defender approached the fans after the match to console them, having seen their side lose for the 19th time this season.
Balogun's reaction wasn't enough to appease the irate fans which led to a heated exchange and he had to be taken away by his teammate.
Ainsworth, while speaking ahead of QPR's game against Preston,was quoted as saying by West London Sport : "It was totally a honest player giving everything and a totally honest and committed fan giving everything," Ainsworth said.
"It was probably a breakdown in communication at the end of a game where we've lost and people shouting at each other from 25 yards while people are shouting around them. That's all it is.
"It showed the passion for football. Leon is 100% committed to this football club. He's a top guy".
"I have sat down with him and talked to him about how he plays and told him what I thought of him. He went through a tough injury and it has been hard for him.
"I think the frustrations of that time out and not being able to contribute didn't help, but he is a proper professional and a player you want in the trenches with you and I am pleased he is back.
"I think he's a real leader and this club has lacked leaders and characters for one reason or another, and when the going gets tough you need these leaders and Leon is one of those."
Balogun had earlier apologized to Rangers fans for his behaviour and had asked the club to invite them to the training ground for further discussion.
Queens Park Rangers started the season on a bright note, but results have however gone south for the club, particularly since the departure of Michael Beale, winning two games since December.
They sit 18th in the Championship standings and Ainsworth would be hoping they can end the season strongly, starting with the encounter against Preston on Friday night at the Loftus Road Stadium.
Photo Credit : qpr.co.uk
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