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Gareth: Trialists have chance to impress

Blues boss keeping recruitment options open.

15 July 2019

Gareth Ainsworth said the inclusion of eight trialists in Saturday’s friendly with Barnet was more by necessity than choice, but admitted that he was pleased with the performances of certain individuals in the 1-1 draw at the Hive.

A trialist midfielder netted a last-gasp equaliser as an experimental Wycombe side avoided defeat against the National League outfit, with a number of first-team regulars missing.

“Pre-season is immensely tough here because we don’t have youth or reserve team players that we can call on, so I have to put trialists in to avoid giving our boys too many minutes on the pitch.

“It was a really good workout against a Barnet side which I think was quite similar to how they’ll line up for the start of the league season, whereas ours will be completely different. We were littered with trialists, but I was quite impressed with one or two of them.

“There’s a lot to football that I need to see from them if we’re going to take it further, but we are looking to bring in some more new signings and get some of our injured lads back in the side as quickly as possible.

“We didn’t want to lose the game, so it’s great to get a draw. It’s not about results at this stage, but we just want to make sure we have a line-up when the season begins on 3rd August that I believe can win games in League 1.”

Ainsworth’s recruitment plans have been aided by the restoration of last season’s playing budget, following the arrival of American sports team owner Rob Couhig to the club’s management structure. Prior to that, the Chairboys manager had been tasked with running the team on a significantly reduced budget due to the club’s well-documented financial restraints.

“I’m excited about what could happen here with the developments under Rob Couhig, and the improvements that are on the horizon,” Ainsworth said.

“But I don’t want anyone getting carried away thinking that we can spend millions and go for it. We’re restricted by the Salary Cap Management Protocol which we can’t go beyond, and that’s dictated by your turnover.

“I know Rob and his team are looking to improve everything at the club and that might enable us to spend more in the future, but for now the budget is roughly back to where it was last year, so we’re looking at targets and it’s all about timings and picking the right players when they become available.

“I’m proud of what we’ve done here over the past few years, and now I want to kick on.”

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