Gareth Ainsworth is one of many managers in and around the English Football League to have been a renowned player for the club of which he is now manager, before taking over the reins.
Ainsworth played for Wycombe Wanderers as a midfielder from 2009-13. In 2012, he was named caretaker manager for Wycombe following the sacking of Gary Waddock. He would eventually become permanent manager for the club.
The attack-minded manager - who also played and was caretaker manager at one time for Queens Park Rangers - employs a high-pressing style with his team. Considered to be the “rock star of the EFL” with his long hair and his famous hobby of playing in a band with friends in his down time, Ainsworth has been praised by colleagues and pundits for his ability to build highly competitive teams from considerably tighter budgets.
What Ainsworth’s been saying…
On playing Doncaster Rovers:
“Doncaster are a strong side with some really good players. They beat MK Dons last time out, and they’ve changed their style in recent weeks, which we’re wary of to be quite honest.
“These two games are equally important as each other, and we won’t be taking Doncaster and less seriously than Rotherham just because they’re at the wrong end of the table. You can’t take anyone lightly. We approach it with the same intensity and professionalism.”
On the team’s form in away contests this season:
“We definitely want to make sure our away form is on track. In the early years, we seemed to play better away from home. However, your home form is your building block where you need to get most of your points, and it’s important that we do that.
“Sometimes not getting beaten away is key, as long as you win your home games.”
On his team’s current form and mentality entering the weekend:
“The players have been fantastic, and we’ve got this home form going strong. The boys feel at home; they feel strong; and they know they’ve got the fans right behind them. The way we’ve started games has been powerful, blowing teams away in the first few minutes. We know we’ve got a good side, and our home form has been reliable. Now, on the road, we’ve got to make sure we’re solid as well.”