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Ainsworth: Fitness is key

Manager reviews pre-season victory at Woking.

17 July 2019

Gareth Ainsworth reaffirmed his belief that results are not the most important factor of pre-season friendlies.

Goals from Alex Samuel, a trialist centre back and Adebayo Akinfenwa secured a first win of the campaign against newly promoted Woking on Tuesday – who proved to be a tough test for the Chairboys.

Brentford make the short trip across to Adams Park on Saturday – and Ainsworth’s men will be looking to get vital minutes against the Championship side ahead of the season opener against Bolton Wanderers in just over two weeks’ time.

“The results don’t matter in these first two games, and even the first five games. The result of the Bolton Wanderers is the most important and I keep saying it. Of course as a manager you want to win every game but today was about fitness, getting no injuries and getting the minutes in."

“You can see there are a few players who are just a little bit off it and lacking a few minutes, so games like tonight are good for them. And again, we were littered with trialists and it’s not easy to get into a way of playing when you’ve got eight or so on the pitch.

“I thought the boys handled it well and I was very impressed with one or two which is great and what you want during pre-season. I remember names like Luke O’Nien coming in as a trialist and look at him now. It is important that you give them a chance.

“Anthony Stewart pulled out just before the game which was a bit chaotic because we didn’t have the numbers. Dave Waites went on right at the end and had a fantastic little cameo – but he has played non-league before so it wasn’t totally out of the blue.

“We’ve got a handful of players currently missing through injury who are big names for the team. So when you throw them into the mix, I think we’re actually quite a decent outfit for where we are as a club, with exciting potential on the horizon as well.

“The big man’s got his goal which is very good for him. It’s probably already been a more productive pre-season this year than last – but it means absolutely nothing. It’s all about the season and all about Wycombe Wanderers being a sustainable League One club because the next step is magnificent if we can think about getting there."

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