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Gareth: I'm proud of how we competed

Blues boss reflects on 1-1 draw at Sunderland.

19 November 2018

Gareth Ainsworth was pleased to see his side rise to the occasion on their first ever visit to the Stadium of Light and leave with a well-earned point.

The Chairboys stunned Sunderland by taking the lead through Fred Onyedinma's powerful drive from 12 yards, but had to dig deep to protect their point once the hosts' pressure paid off through Josh Maja's late equaliser.

"It was a superb performance by the boys," he said. "I thought we were the better side in the first half and up until our goal it was very even, but after we scored, Sunderland applied some serious pressure on us and deserved their goal.

"What I'm proud of is that we didn’t crumble; the fans got right behind them but we stayed strong, stayed committed, and I'm proud that we’ve come here and competed with what I think is the division's best team. Jack Ross has done a great job; he's a very good manager, and so I'm to delighted to come here and get something from the game."

The Blues boss explained that his team were shown to a small side door on arriving at the stadium by foot from a nearby hotel, but he elected to take the longer route to the front of the ground so that his players could take pride in entering through the prestigious main reception.

"I wanted them to puff their chests out and be proud of knowing that they've earned the right to come to places like this, after what they achieved last year. We know we've not got the biggest resources, with no academy and no reserve team, but we punch above our weight and we wanted to come here and be on the front foot.

"We had a plan in place and it was nice to see parts of that plan come off during the game, and cause some problems for Sunderland."

And he was thrilled to ensure that the 1,010 Wanderers fans high behind one goal would go home happy at seeing their team deliver on the big stage.

"The fans were magnificent, as they always are, and they made themselves heard throughout the game even though there were 30,000 Sunderland fans to compete with!

"I know they'll have been looking forward to this one and a lot of visiting supporters will leave here disappointed this season, but we've come here and got a point and our fans have played a big part in that by getting right behind us."

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