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Gareth: Put Ipswich setback behind us

Boss eyes three points against Portsmouth.

12 November 2021

Gareth Ainsworth believes his side are in good shape to return to winning ways at Adams Park when Portsmouth come to town on Saturday (k.o. 3pm).

The fixture is one of just six games taking place across League 1 due to postponements elsewhere, being an international weekend, and Wanderers had the option to call the match off with Daryl Horgan, Sullay Kaikai and Tjay De Barr unavailable – but Ainsworth wants to pick up momentum ahead of another testing schedule in the run-up to Christmas.

“We’ll be putting out our strongest team possible, of course,” he said. “We’re without three internationals but we were desperate to get the game on because we want to carry on the excellent home record we’ve got.

“There was a blip against Ipswich and those things can happen, but one game won’t define a season – getting on a good run over seven or eight matches will really have a bearing and that’s what we’re looking to do.

“We love playing at home; we relish every game here because the fans have been fantastic from day one and we need to make sure we get back to winning ways. There’ve been some entertaining games here but I’d take a 1-0 win; Portsmouth are a strong team with a fantastic management team and they’ll be up there at the end of the season.”

Fans at Adams Park have been getting used to explosive starts and late drama so far this season and Ainsworth reckons his men are growing comfortable adapting to the ups and downs that 90 minutes of League 1 action can bring.

“We’ve been starting games well at home, scoring early, playing with lots of energy, and maybe we just need to work at staying strong when we do go in front, but we also know we’ve got a lot of character to come back if we do fall behind.

“Portsmouth have had a few inconsistent results but they’d look at us and say we’re pretty similar after the good run we had but then the draw at Fleetwood and defeat to Ipswich. They’ve started slow but will kick on, I’m sure of it. We’ve been preparing in a big way – there’s a lot going on and a busy schedule ahead of us, but my only focus is Pompey.”

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