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Gareth looking for cup success this week

The boss reflects on the 3-3 draw with Cheltenham, and looks ahead to the Chairboys' Checkatrade Trophy and FA Cup ties.

30 October 2017

Gareth Ainsworth was left disappointed after Cheltenham denied the Chairboys all three points with an 89th minute equaliser at the weekend.

Brian Graham headed home to complete the Robins’ revival after being 3-1 down just past the hour-mark, despite going into the break 1-0 up.

Reflecting on an action-packed encounter, Gareth - who was frustrated that a push on Ebere Eze was not seen in the build-up to the late leveller – felt the first two goals conceded could have been avoided.

That being said, the boss was pleased with the reaction of his team to turn the game on its head soon after the restart and was full of praise for Wanderers’ loan star, Eze.

“We let Cheltenham into the game with two sloppy goals. Yes, the third goal is a blatant push, but that should still be a 3-1 defeat for Cheltenham,” he said.

“I’m disappointed with the first goal from the set-piece because we knew that was coming as they are a big, strong side who I believe will cause problems to teams in this division.

“So that was disappointing and I gave them a bit of a roasting at half-time, but I thought the reaction in the second-half was fantastic.

“I thought the performance in the first half was ok as we were creating chances, but we just needed to tighten up that little bit at the back.

“In the second half, Eberechi (Eze) will get all the headlines and he deserved to be on the winning side today, but it is one of those things.

“He set the place on fire in the second-half and I am really pleased for the young lad, and Bayo has got two and we were going forward really well.

“I’m just disappointed in the goals we conceded which let that third goal be such a momentous goal.”

Injuries played their part in Ainsworth’s team selection at the weekend, with Dan Scarr, Anthony Stewart and Sido Jombati all ruled out, so Will De Havilland was thrust straight into the heart of defence after returning early from a loan spell at Aldershot.

The manager admits the injury list is proving a headache at the moment, but was pleased with the versatility his squad have shown in recent weeks.

“We’ve got three fit defenders at the club for today’s game,” he added.

“Dan Scarr, Anthony Stewart and Jack Williams are failed late fitness tests this morning; we tried but we just couldn’t get them back in time.

“It is tough, and Will (De Havilland) came in having not played so has been getting up to speed having been on loan at Aldershot, and Dominic (Gape) at right-back has been very steady and has filled in well there.

“There’ll be some luck around the corner with injuries I’m sure, and come January, if we can stay around this top-seven, we will have long-term injuries coming back to add to the squad for the run-in.”

The Chairboys now take a break from domestic affairs, and get up for the cup with Checkatrade Trophy and Emirates FA Cup action on the horizon this week.

Before Sunday’s cup-tie with National League side, Solihull Moors, Wycombe travel to the County Ground on Tuesday night, to take on Swindon in Group C of the Checkatrade Trophy.

Despite an injury-hit squad, Ainsworth is not looking for anything less than two wins this week.

“We’ve got a Checkatrade Trophy game on Tuesday which, if I’m honest could be timed better, but we’ll have to go there with what we’ve got, and not getting any more injuries will be paramount.

“We are taking both these cup games this week seriously, we want to win every game as winning breeds winning so we’ll be going all out to win both.

“It is tough result to take today, it felt a little bit like it did after the Luton game where we were robbed right at the end, but everyone knows what we did after Luton – we went on a fantastic run, so I’ve said to the boys that you have done it once, let’s do it again.”

Click here to book your seat for the Chairboys' trips to Swindon and Solihull Moors.

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