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Gareth: Boys must build on Sunderland positives

Blues boss hopes for consistency as his side prepare for Shrewsbury.

22 November 2018

Gareth Ainsworth says his side must carry belief from the superb performance at Sunderland into Saturday’s Sky Bet League 1 meeting with Shrewsbury Town at Adams Park (k.o. 3pm).

The Chairboys stunned the title favourites by taking a deserved lead at the Stadium of Light and, despite conceding late on, held firm to secure a point which they’re looking to build on as they seek a fifth successive home league win.

Standing in their way are last season’s defeated play-off finalists Shrewsbury, who have overcome a rocky start to the season to build momentum with three successive wins under caretaker boss Danny Coyne.

“If we can play like that away to Sunderland then we can do that to anyone,” Ainsworth told the press on Thursday. “I’ll be reminding the boys of that before Saturday and they need to believe they can compete with any team in this league.

“Now we’re looking forward to getting back to Adams Park which has been a fortress for us lately – and that’s how it should be. It’s our home, and we want to be difficult to play against. We’ve been strong at home in the league, we’ve got players coming back from injury and we’re occupying a healthy position in the league.

“Shrewsbury made the play-offs last year and although they’ve lost a couple of players, they’ve kept the core of what they had. I think they just needed a spark to get them going again and Danny (Coyne) has given that to them, so we want to extinguish that spark and get another home win.”

The Shrews arrive at Adams Park just three days after their FA Cup first round replay win at Salford, a game in which they impressed sufficiently to stave off a supposed giant-killing, with plenty of Wycombe eyes paying close attention.

“Andy Fairman (first-team coach) went to the game and I watched it on TV,” Ainsworth explained. “We’ve seen a lot of footage from their recent games and we know how they play, but we’ve seen a few areas we think we can exploit and also some strengths we need to nullify, so it’ll be a really good game.”

The match is the first of two League 1 clashes in quick succession, with a trip to Accrington coming up on Tuesday, ahead of an 11-day break enforced by the Blues’ exit from the FA Cup.

“We’ve got these two games and then a little break, so we want as much joy from the two matches as possible and then we can watch the weekend go by and get back to it against Barnsley.

“These are two tough fixtures for us but hopefully we can put in a performance just like we did at the Stadium of Light and get the right results.”

Wycombe vs Shrewsbury Tickets 18/19

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