Gareth Ainsworth was full of praise for his side after they stretched their winning to three games with Saturday’s 1-0 victory at Bristol Rovers.25Blues were left frustrated for large periods after the hosts were reduced to 10 men in the thminute, but Wanderers’ pressure eventually told eight minutes from time when Max Kretzschmar fired home.
Ainsworth said: “I always believed. I’m confident of my players and if they hadn’t have scored then I would have still been proud of the performance.
“I thought they really kept the ball well and had the majority of the possession. There were a couple of little wasteful passes, but when you’re against 10 men it’s not easy.
“It’s not a gimme and you’re not going to win two or three-nil. It doesn’t work like that. If you’re against eight or nine men OK, but against 10 it’s still tough.
“They put 10 behind the ball and we had to probe and make runs. The forwards were getting tired because we had a huge amount of possession at the back, and that’s easy to do, but the forwards were the ones making the runs everywhere to try and open things up.
“That’s why we made the changes and finally we broke them down enough to score our goal - 1-0 is as good as a 4-0, believe me!
“They were packing the defence and it was tough. It was a real team effort and a real step forward in possession and tactics.”
Ainsworth’s changes helped make the difference with two substitutes – Jon-Paul Pittman and Kretzschamar – combining for the goal
He added: “JP’s had a few knocks to his confidence this season, but he’s not someone I can ignore when he’s sat on the bench there. I’m thinking legs, pace, power, shots at goal – Jon-Paul Pittman.
“JP and Matty McClure are two great subs to be able to put on and probably the most unlikely one – Max – gets the goal.
“It’s a team thing, and I thought Stu battled really hard, Josh had a lot of possession and did well, Nick Arnold and Charles worked the wings very well and Kortney and Anthony learnt a lot.
“They learnt about possession and how we can control the game, while Matt Ingram only had one thing to do and he did it.
“I’m really pleased with the performance – bring on Tuesday and Portsmouth!”