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Gareth: Drop the weight and prepare for Saturday

Blues boss rues cup exit but looks ahead to opportunity to continue phenomenal league form on Saturday.

21 November 2019

Gareth Ainsworth trusts in his players to recover quickly from the disappointment of Wednesday’s FA Cup exit to Tranmere Rovers, ahead of the League 1 meeting with Doncaster Rovers at Adams Park on Saturday (k.o. 3pm).

Wanderers were taken all the way to extra time by Tranmere before eventually losing 2-1 to end their cup adventures for this season, leaving 27 league matches remaining for Ainsworth’s men to direct their full focus.

A quick turnaround after their two-hour endeavours saw the Blues return to training this morning (Thursday) in preparation for the visit of the South Yorkshire outfit, and Ainsworth says he’s confident there’ll be no cup hangover by the time Saturday rolls around.

“We’re bitterly disappointed to go out of the FA Cup as it’s a competition we wanted to do well in, and the manner of the defeat is tough to take because I thought we created plenty of chances but just defended poorly on a couple of occasions to let them back in.

“Playing extra time wasn’t ideal but you have to credit Tranmere for the way they dug in and gave themselves a chance. Their keeper has had an unbelievable game and on another day I think our performance would’ve been good enough to win comfortably by a few goals.

“But there’s no time to feel sorry for ourselves and we spoke in the changing room afterwards about the importance of putting this behind us and getting ready to Saturday. The FA Cup is gone now and there’s nothing we can do to change it, but we can affect what’s in front of us and that’s another big game in the league against Doncaster.

“The next two days are about recovery, assessing any knocks that we’ve picked up, and working hard on selecting the right team and the right approach to go out there and win on Saturday.

“It’s all about dropping the weight and going again, and that goes for the fans too. I know it’s been a busy time with a lot of travelling, a lot of matches and a lot of money spent on following the team, but I hope they can get right behind us again because they’ve been fantastic all season and that has helped make a real difference to the team, believe me.

“I’m so proud of how we’ve performed and the results we’ve picked up so far this season, and for us to be in this position at this stage of the season is fantastic. But we’ve achieved nothing yet; it’s all about keeping our focus and doing what we do best, week in week out, to give our all and see where it gets us.”

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