A whirlwind few seasons took Wycombe Wanderers to heights previously unreached and the club is determined to ensure it was not a one-off.
Last season, for the first time in the club’s history, the Chairboys competed in the second tier having won promotion via the play-offs, which took place after the previous campaign was halted due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
It was the pinnacle of an incredible rise for the Buckinghamshire club under manager Gareth Ainsworth, who guided them to promotion from Sky Bet League Two in 2018.
Also key to Wycombe’s rise has been powerful forward Adebayo Akinfenwa, who will be celebrated by the club this weekend with his career drawing to a close at the end of the campaign.
Their place in the Championship was very close to being retained, with Ainsworth’s side relegated by a single point on the final day of last season.
While bidding for an immediate return, Ainsworth has also sought to begin an evolution of the club’s playing style while retaining the levels of workrate and organisation that had brought him so much success. This has involved regular switches in formation, between back threes and back fours.
A strong first half of the season had them in an excellent position to challenge for automatic promotion, but recent form has been much more patchy and has threatened to quash hopes of a top six finish.
After opening 2022 with three wins and a draw from their first four matches of the year, Wycombe then embarked on a seven game winless run. And while they have won three and drawn two of their last five, they remain outside the play-off places in eighth.
The Chairboys enter this weekend on 66 points, three shy of sixth placed Sheffield Wednesday, having won 18 and drawn 12 of their 39 matches so far.
As part of their run of picking up 11 points from 15 available in March, Wycombe conceded just once.
When they have scored twice or more in matches this season, they have picked up 15 of their wins.
Former Premier League striker Sam Vokes leads the scoring charts for Ainsworth’s side with 12 goals in all competitions while Brandon Hanlan and Garath McCleary chipping in seven apiece.
The experienced Joe Jacobson has helped anchor a defence which has delivered 17 clean sheets across all competitions, including six goalless draws.
There have been only ten meetings between Wycombe and Rovers, with the majority coming in the last six years. Wycombe have won four of seven matches in that time with Rovers taking two victories.
Rovers have yet to win at Adams Park in five visits, losing four and being beaten on a penalty shootout in the EFL Cup after a 2-2 draw.
Wycombe triumphed 2-0 in the reverse fixture in October with Anthony Stewart and Akinfenwa grabbing the goals.