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Gareth: We have to plan for six points

Boss looks ahead to New Year double-header.

29 December 2017

Gareth Ainsworth says he and his staff will consider how to maximise the strength of their squad with two games in three days against Mansfield and Forest Green over the New Year.

Wanderers take on the Stags on Saturday at Adams Park – where they’ve won six successive games in all competitions – before looking to return to winning ways away from home, visiting Forest Green on Monday.

With Adam El-Abd and Marcus Bean likely to come back into the fold after injury and illness, Ainsworth says he will have a plan to get the best from his squad in order to achieve the highest possible points return from the two fixtures.

“You have to look at the whole weekend and both games – you can’t afford to just look at the first one. Squad selection comes into and you need to make sure the fitness levels are right and that everyone can give their maximum for the team when they’re on the pitch.

“Our medical and sports science departments really come into it around this time and there are all sorts of factors to calculate to make sure we’re firing on all cylinders. We’d love to pick up six points but Mansfield and Forest Green will be giving everything to do the same.”

Recent form has seen a change in the Chairboys’ fortunes over the past few seasons, where they have tended to excel away from home yet find it tougher to find consistency on home turf. However, on the back of six straight victories at Adams Park, Ainsworth says his players are relishing the prospect of stepping out in HP12 again on Saturday.

“It’s been a brilliant run and the results are testament to how well the boys have been playing,” he said. “Over my five years we’ve developed from a team that’s fantastic on the road to now making our home a bit of a fortress – we feel comfortable playing at Adams Park, we’ve got an excellent pitch which has helped us, and we’d love to keep this run going. We’ve made it a tough place to come for opposition teams.

“The fans have really got behind us as well. At times I can hear frustrations from the crowd but the majority are right there with us, even when things aren’t going our way, and that’s true support. It’s fantastic to have that – they know this could be our season and we want to achieve something together.”

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