Gareth Ainsworth says he’ll be reminding his squad of their privilege of being a Wycombe Wanderers player ahead of the first of a crucial double-header of fixtures against Rochdale on Good Friday (k.o. 3pm).
The Blues ended a tough run of results in style with a confident, professional and resilient 2-0 victory at Southend United last Saturday, backed by 772 Chairboys fans who stayed right behind the team throughout the two-month winless run – a situation Ainsworth knows mustn’t be taken for granted.
“It was outstanding on Saturday; spirits have been high despite us not getting the results we wanted, and hopefully some of that comes from me and my staff because we’re always confident and positive and driving the boys on.
“But I know it comes from the fans as well, and they were absolutely brilliant at Southend. They got right behind the team, as well as me and my staff, and they really have played their part throughout the whole season. It’s not just about us – we’re the lucky ones to be on the pitch and on the sidelines – but we can’t do it on our own without the support of the fans.
“We knew that win was coming, and I’ve been able to sleep well at night knowing that the team was playing well even when we weren’t getting the results. I don’t want to be a team that plays badly and wins. On Saturday we played well and got the win, but it’s soon forgotten about and we have two big games coming up on Friday and Monday. We’re very close to achieving what we wanted, and could be one win away – but I want to win all four of our remaining games.”
The relegation fight continues to take twists and turns with some clubs hitting form at just the right time to pull clear of danger, while others begin to panic as their gap above the bottom four gets cut week after week – but Ainsworth says he’s able to remain focused and level-headed through it all.
“I’m lucky and maybe that comes from being from a humble background and being able to look at things in perspective. I’ve been through some tough things in life and in football, but we’re so privileged to be where we are. There are much bigger things in the world that can get you down, so why would you be down about doing the job you love? It’s a fantastic career.
“Those scenes at Southend were so positive and we’re lucky to be able to feel those emotions. I come in every day firstly trying to improve myself, and then improve those around me, and I really want everyone I come into contact with to do well in life. I’ll keep doing that, with my glass half full at all times, and won’t take it for granted.”
“We’ll take the positives from Saturday and build on them at Rochdale. These are all tough games now, with some clubs getting dragged into it at the bottom, but we’ve been in the battle all along and we’re ready to fight our way out. We’ll get ourselves in the right state, mentally and physically, and we look forward to being all together on the bus and staying overnight. There’ll have to be changes to the side over the weekend, with two games in quick succession, but it would be fantastic to carry on momentum and we’ll judge how we get on in the matches and in training.”