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Gareth: We are feeling confident

Boss previews Southend.

27 September 2018

Gareth Ainsworth is hoping his side can take heart from recent displays as they prepare to take on Southend United at Adams Park this weekend.

After bringing home a deserved point from high-flyers Portsmouth last Saturday, the Chairboys pushed Championship side Norwich City all the way in the Carabao Cup at Adams Park in midweek, narrowly going down 4-3.

Prior to that game, the Chairboys had just one defeat in their previous nine fixtures, and Ainsworth’s men will be looking to show the same fighting spirit they have displayed in recent weeks and try and convert it into their first home league win of the season on Saturday against the Shrimpers.

Speaking to the press on Thursday morning, Ainsworth said: “One thing we have always had here is character.

“I think that is something we have built on over the last five years and I feel that the steel resolve that we have got here was shown in the way we fought back against Portsmouth to get a point last Saturday and how we almost took the game to penalties against Norwich on Tuesday.

“We now need to start turning some of these draws into wins and I’m hoping that Saturday can be our first home win in the league. We are feeling confident, I’ve got great selection problems and that is the way I want it to be.

“We’ve got three big games in the space of seven days coming up now and we’re thoroughly looking forward to all three.”

Saturday’s fixture sees the Chairboys come up against Southend for the first time since the play-off final defeat to the Essex side in 2015.

United, now under the management of Chris Powell, will present a tough test Ainsworth says, but he and his players are looking forward to the task.

“We’re looking forward to facing Southend who are a dangerous team with a great manager in Chris Powell,” he said.

“Chris is a real good friend and is a very talented manager so we’ll be up against it in that respect but we have got to take spirit from our recent results.

“This game is an exciting one on paper as people will always point to Wembley and this is the first time that we’ve met since then, but it will be the furthest thing from my mind as that is a distant memory, we’re League One now and we’re competing against a side that will look to be up there this season and let’s see what we can do.”

Monday marked six years in charge at Adams Park for country’s second longest serving manager, winning 133 of his 325 games so far in the hot seat.

Looking over his journey from caretaker player-manager to a promotion winning boss, Ainsworth is still as proud and ambitious as ever.

“It’s fair to say that I am a different manager now than when I first took over six years ago, I don’t think you can stay the same.

“I was quite naive and a little bit wet behind the ears thinking that I knew it all, but believe me playing and management could not be further apart.

“You can rest on what you did as a player for a couple of hours after you get the job but no more than that, you’ve got to earn your respect and your stripes as a manager, and I’m hoping over the last six years I have developed Wycombe into a better side and a more stable club than when I took over.

“I’m very proud to be Wycombe Wanderers manager and I’m proud of what we have done so far, but I know I couldn’t do it without my fantastic staff, Richard Dobson has been through it all the way with me, the team behind the scenes and last but not least the players who have given me everything.

“I want to thank everyone who has got behind me and the team, I know I will be questioned now and again but we are all pulling in the same direction which is great and a win on Saturday would cap it right off.”

Wycombe vs Southend Tickets 18/19

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