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In opposition: Wycombe Wanderers - what they're saying

1 April 2022

He is the rock star of the EFL and he has been the rock at the heart of Wycombe Wanderers’ incredible rise in recent years – both on the pitch and in the dugout.

Gareth Ainsworth first arrived at Adams Park in 2009, with a loan move quickly becoming a permanent spell that continues to this day. 

He finished his playing career in 2013 with 118 appearances for the Chairboys and now has more than 450 matches under his belt as manager – a record that includes promotion from both Sky Bet League One and League Two. 

And Ainsworth – who fronts the band The Cold Blooded Hearts in his spare time – is looking for another promotion with Wycombe this season. 

Ainsworth on Rovers:  

“The next three are very winnable, but we must focus on Doncaster. 

“They’ve gone to Sunderland and MK Dons and beaten them. 

"So, no way are they dead and buried.” 

On the chances of making the play-offs:  

“We’ve got seven cup finals ahead of us now, we’re really strong, and we’ve got a chance to get into that top six.  

“We’re now turning heads in the division. We’ve got players that are quite rightly competing for places, and saying ‘gaffer, we’re ready’, so it keeps those in the team on their toes.” 

On taking time off during the international break: 

“In the last five or six seasons, we’ve had this break. [Head of conditioning] Dave Wates has done some really good studies on this and we usually finish seasons really strong.  

“I believe there can be burnout when you’re in all the time, so you have to find these breaks away.” 

On striker Adebayo Akinfenwa, for whom this weekend’s game is a designated tribute: 

“Bayo is an incredible guy. Football has brought us together, but life will keep us together. 

“I wouldn’t be able to do what I’ve done here without him. 

“People said it was a publicity stunt, signing him. He’s our greatest ever EFL goalscorer. 

“Bayo deserves every clap and every cheer that he’ll get when he steps out on Saturday and over the final games.” 

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