Gareth Ainsworth praised skipper Matt Bloomfield as a ‘Wycombe legend’ ahead of the Chairboys’ highly anticipated clash against Sunderland on Saturday... but rues illness within the camp just two days before the Black Cats make the trip to Adams Park.
Ainsworth had nothing but positive words to say when asked for his thoughts on Bloomfield, who is just one game away from making his 500th appearance in the dark and light blue quarters.
“He’s a phenomenal character and works as hard as possible," he said. "You see him after games when he hasn’t played - he’s doing extra running, extra work, he’s helping out with the community, he’s helping the young lads here, he skippers the team, he organises things and you can count on him no matter what.
“The man is just a true Wycombe legend. In today’s game there won’t be many players who play 500 games for a club, let alone Wycombe, so he deserves all the plaudits he gets. If it is to be his 500th on Saturday then well done Matt Bloomfield. He’s a fantastic person and a real good friend which goes on beyond football.”
Despite Bloomfield’s achievements, it hasn’t all been plain sailing for the Blues this week after defensive errors condemned them to another defeat at Peterborough last weekend, and now an illness has hit the camp.
“We went through the game at the weekend, pointed out a few mistakes and maybe some bad habits have started to creep in that weren’t there at the start of the season.
“Unfortunately money talks a little bit in this game but you can’t buy the heartbeat of people, you can’t buy the desire and that team ethic. We’ve got all of those things going for us so it wouldn’t surprise me if the results go against the grain on Saturday but at the same time, we’ve got to earn it.”
“If there’s one black mark against this week’s training it’s the lack of players. We’ve had a few off ill just two days before the game now so we are struggling for the full squad to be fit. I think there’s going to be two or three who won’t be able to start.”
“The past has proven this club can come up with the goods, especially when a huge team comes to town so thanks for all your support. I’m sure you’ll all be there Saturday and I look forward to seeing us put a great account of Wycombe Wanderers forward.”
The Chairboys face a heavily anticipated fixture against Sunderland on Saturday but Ainsworth still believes his players are up for the challenge.
“It’s Sunderland, it’s a full house and it’s almost a bit of a carnival atmosphere for them. We really want to try and break that. We want to give a fantastic account of ourselves as we have done against the like of Barnsley, Peterborough and Doncaster at home so the big teams at home we seem to have done well against.”
“On Saturday we’re facing the likes of [Aiden] McGeady and some other real fantastic players that we’ve got to contend with but we’ve got some big names too and I look forward to pitting my wits against one of the best in the league.”