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Gareth: Let's get back to winning ways

Boss looks ahead to a "different challenge" at Hartlepool in the FA Cup.

5 November 2021

Blues boss Gareth Ainsworth said his side will approach Saturday's FA Cup clash at Hartlepool in the same manner as any league game as Wycombe look to rediscover their winning habit following Tuesday's loss to Ipswich.

Wanderers head north for their first encounter with Hartlepool since March 2017, looking to put their midweek disappointment behind them and put their name in the hat for the second round of the FA Cup for the first time since 2017/18.

“It was fantastic to have a big crowd with us on Tuesday night and it’s just a shame we couldn’t give them the result we wanted to thank them for their support, but there’s no doom and gloom and we know that everyone can be proud of the part they’ve played in us having a great start to the season," he said.

“Saturday is a different type of challenge but one we’re looking forward to. The FA Cup means a lot to this club, and to me, and we know just how special a competition it can be. Any cup game gives you the chance to dream about playing against some of the best teams in the country, at the best grounds in the country, and enjoying those adventures together as a club."

The Monkey Hangers returned to the EFL this summer after a four-year absence, and currently sit in the top half of the fourth tier, but were recently rocked by the departure of boss Dave Challinor to Stockport, leaving ex-player Antony Sweeney in caretaker charge.

“We’ve had some good battles with Hartlepool down the years and it’s great to see them back in the EFL, and going strong this season," Ainsworth added. "They’re a bit of an unknown quantity because of their change of manager recently, but we’ll be doing our homework as usual and going there looking to get back to winning ways and progressing to the second round.

“I’ll never be one to underestimate the FA Cup or say it doesn’t matter because it’s a great competition and we’re a club that wants to win every time we cross the white line. I know it’s another long trip for our fans and hopefully we can put on a performance, get the win and then look forward to the second round draw and the home games that we’ve got coming up.”

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