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Interviews

Gareth: Wimbledon always a threat to us

Boss previews Saturday's test at Adams Park.

10 December 2021

Gareth Ainsworth acknowledges Saturday's League 1 encounter with AFC Wimbledon is likely to provide a stern test for his side, with the Londoners often having held the upper hand against the Chairboys in recent times.

Wycombe are winless in their last seven meetings with the Wombles, who did the double over Ainsworth's men in 2018/19, and while history doesn't come in to effect once the players cross the white line at 3pm on Saturday, the ex-Wimbledon midfielder knows not to expect an easy ride against the club currently 17th in the division.

"I played for Wimbledon, and in my mind, that's the team that's coming here on Saturday. They're the true Wimbledon, with the history. And it's always a tough game against them.

"They're a strong side with good energy, some really talented young players and the two big men up front in (Aaron) Pressley and (Ollie) Palmer, so they've got a bit of everything. Robbo (Mark Robinson) is a relatively new manager for them but he's done fantastically well in a short time and I've got a lot of respect for them as a club. It's been a difficult game every time we've faced them."

It's Wanderers' final home game before Christmas - an occasion they've only lost once this century, when Wimbledon turned the champagne flat in 2018 - and Ainsworth hopes this time around his team can strengthen their position in the top six over the festive period, with plenty of teams picking up form at the top.

"You look around the league and you've got Wigan, Rotherham, Sunderland all getting good results every week, and Portsmouth, Oxford and MK Dons coming on strong, so we're in good company and looking forward to seeing what we can do over Christmas.

"Historically we've maybe struggled over Christmas but this season feels different, with the players we've got and the run that we're on. The little break last week helped us, the Christmas schedule isn't as hectic as usual, and we just need to stay focused, driven and fit.

"I know if I've got my best 17-18 players available, we're a match for absolutely anyone."

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