Gareth Ainsworth praised the Chairboys’ incredible support following a phenomenal uptake of ticket sales ahead of the club’s clash with rivals Oxford United at the Kassam Stadium on Saturday, despite a tough recent run of form.
Over 1,800 tickets have been allocated to Wanderers fans which makes it the highest turnout at an away game since Wycombe’s valiant 4-3 defeat to Tottenham in the FA Cup two years ago at White Hart Lane.
Ainsworth was astounded by the numbers attending to cheer on the light and dark blue quarters, and hopes his side can make it a day to remember for those making the short trip.
“The amount of fans we’re taking is awesome and the boys know what this one means. A lot of them played in that game where they clinched promotion against us (in 2016) and that one hurt us, but a couple of years later we joined them and we’re both playing each other in the division above.
“It’s a great story and I’m now hoping all the fans can have a fantastic day and that we can put a good performance in. We’re confident we can go there and attack Oxford. We can take our game to them and the boys have looked really good this week.
“I was told that it’s one of the biggest away followings we’ve had since Tottenham, and I just want to say 'thank you so much'. It’s a special club and moments like that and little comments like that to me make everything worthwhile, so we’re looking forward to performing in front of you all and I’m sure we can put on a good performance in the M40 derby.”
Despite many memorable clashes between the two sides over the years, the U’s have had the upper hand of late but Ainsworth has always enjoyed the feisty affair.
“The league games are always quite tasty occasions. I remember Peter Murphy’s winning header there a few years ago and I remember a missed penalty by Danny Hylton. Stevie Craig was sent off at home once so we’ve had some real good battles and rightly so.
“It’s just up the road, it gets all the fans together and with all these stories from Oxford games coming back to me, I hope we can create another great story in Wycombe’s favour because it’s about time we got one over on them. They seem to have the upper hand lately but when this Wycombe Wanderers come to town, we’ll see what happens.”
Wanderers have endured good and bad spells this season, with their current run seeing them winless in nine games in the league, but Ainsworth insists morale is still as high as ever in the camp.
“The mood will always be great here and, as I say, it’s an amazing story if we achieve this and stay in the division. We will achieve it and it will be an amazing story - that’s what I’m saying, because the state of where the club was a few years ago to where it is now is just phenomenal.
“The lads just keep surprising me every week. You look at the boys, look into their eyes and you can see they are great characters and the staff and the fans make it a brilliant story. To stay in this league and be able to build in the coming years to sustain a League One club is great to think about.”