Gareth Ainsworth says there’s still time for players to force their way into his starting XI for the opening-day fixture against Morecambe.
“If you’re in my squad then you’re wanted and you’ll play,” Ainsworth said after the 2-2 draw with Aston Villa. “You’re here for a reason, not to make up the numbers.
Ainsworth’s men have two final friendlies to impress in – at Burnham on Wednesday and Oxford City on Friday night – before the big kick off on Saturday 3rd August at Adams Park.
“Some people say the first XI will pick itself, but that’s not true. Whoever I pick, it is important that the rest of the boys know they are wanted still and will play a part this season.
“The opening game and the closing game, I’ll bet you a £1,000 now that it’s not the same XI and that’s football.
“It changes and that’s why we’ve got a squad. It’s a tight, small squad but I think we’ve got more quality than last year.”
The inspirational boss highlighted the performances of summer signings Jon-Paul Pittman and Paris Cowan-Hall, who both won countless headers and attacked with purpose against the Premier League side.
He said: “I’ve always known JP can do that. We work on things like that in training and it’s a bit about confidence. He knows that he’s wanted here and I wouldn’t have gone in for him if I didn’t want him.
Paris, he can get up and spring to win headers. When someone wants you, you jump that bit higher anyway.”