Gareth Ainsworth hailed his side’s complete display as they secured a comfortable 2-0 win over Crewe to set up an FA Cup second-round tie with one of his former sides Preston North End.
Second-half goals from Steven Craig and Gary Doherty ensured Blues knocked out their League 1 opposition, and they did it in style with keeper Matt Ingram barely tested,
“We studied Crewe and obviously had a little taste of them two weeks ago and then followed that up with scouting,” he said.
“They took a big beating on Saturday, but it could have gone either way. Teams want to bounce back from that, but we came here with the tactics we had decided on and it paid off.
“It was very pleasing and I’m very proud to have bounced back the way we have after Saturday. The way we set up and prepared for this game led to a very professional performance from every player on the pitch and the ones off it as well.
“Everyone has treated this game with the up-most professionalism and it’s paid off – we thoroughly deserved the win.”
Ainsworth added: “We wanted that second goal and I said to Dobbo that we needed it. We got it and the clean sheet was very important as well - we haven’t had one of those since Bristol Rovers.
“It was really pleasing all-round. The players that had been out of the team and came into it took their chances and took them well. They’ve given me more options and ways to play.
“I thought we were awesome from front to back, epitomised by our captain Stuart Lewis. He was immense and led the boys tonight.”
Blues were backed by 81 hardy souls and Ainsworth had the following message for those who braved the freezing weather to make the trip.
He said: “We’ve had it before, maybe not quite as few, but they made so much noise so we could hear them. They helped us get the result and see the game out.
“Thank you to everyone who came up. They missed an international game on TV, they’ve driven up here and it’s absolutely freezing.
“I can’t speak highly enough of them - they were brilliant. I’m so proud of my players and my staff as well, it’s a fantastic day.”