Gareth Ainsworth finished last week on a positive note with the contract extension for Curtis Thompson and a reflection of how far the Chairboys have come in recent times.
Here's a summary of his thoughts on five topics we covered with him:
On Curtis Thompson’s new contract
It’s fantastic news. Curtis has been outstanding since he broke into the team; we knew he was a great player at Notts County but maybe he’d lost his way a bit. Opinions can vary but I always thought he was a cracking player – he’s got the heart of a lion and you can see in his performances how much he loves being here. Thank you to the chairman, to the club and to the fans for making it happen because he loves it here and he’s a great acquisition.
On the response in training to four straight defeats
We don’t often have major video sessions to tear things apart but we had one after the Coventry game to look back at some clips from the last few games and it’s just little mistakes that have been costing us; nothing major. We’re not getting torn apart. There’s a really positive vibe – we know what points total we want and we’re excited to get there and build again. It took us four years to rebuild in League 2 and we want to grow as a League 1 club. I know I was a bit down after the Coventry game but that’s not me – I want to stay positive. The boys were in training on Thursday and Friday but get the weekend off, and then we want a reaction against Doncaster on Saturday. We’ve been through tough times in the past so this is relatively okay; we’re in a fantastic position at this stage of the season and we’d have taken this at the start of the year.
On the departing loanees (Bryn Morris, Randell Williams and Fred Onyedinma)
Training was a bit thin after losing a few players! They’ve been really good for us and it’s no secret that we’d have liked to keep them, so we’ve been working hard with the chairman’s help to try and make something happen. But we’re also looking at other options and some new faces; I know we’ve been linked with a few in the papers – some are true, some aren’t! It’s all about timing and some other factors, but we’re working tirelessly to make sure we’ve got a strong squad for the second half of the season.
On the expectation of potential targets
Eberechi Eze, Alfie Mawson and Aaron Pierre weren’t big names before they came here but I’m sure they’d be recognised now. We’ve got lists of names of players that people won’t have heard of, and even I haven’t heard of some players but that’s when I have to do some digging and use contacts to find out who’s available. It’s time consuming but you know what you’re bringing in and we love seeing potential in players rather than necessarily just looking at a finished article. It’s really satisfying when we can improve a player and see them flourish.
On the bigger picture
After the game against Coventry I was a bit down and I know it came across like that, but I’ve got nothing but positivity. I love my job – it’s a fantastic place to be, and this is an amazing club which we’ve all got to be super proud of. To be sat where we are, after some tough times, we deserve it because we’ve worked as a unit and everyone who’s got behind us and shouted for us has played their part. It’s my job to make sure we sustain this; it’s been a fantastic ride so thank you everyone.