|Job||CEO of Wycombe|
2019 10 08 Retrieve
[Boss Gareth Ainsworth told a meeting that if the Rob Couhig deal did not get the 75 per cent approval from shareholders, the fan-owned club was in dire straits] I’ll tell you now, if we don’t get the vote I think we could be in serious trouble. I’ll say it bluntly - it could be very, very tough. People have kept this club alive and it comes a time when you think, ‘This really needs to change’. For me, this is that time. I believe in Rob Couhig and what he could do for this club
2020 07 03 Retrieve
[Wycombe took a huge step towards reaching the League One play-off final as they beat Fleetwood 4-1 in a madcap encounter at Highbury on Friday night] It’s half time and we know that, so we’re not going to get carried away but that group is so together that they can achieve. We get written off all the time, but this lot have got more heart than you can ever believe. I think they’ve shown discipline and humility tonight but it’s half time and we’ve got plenty more to come on Monday. I’m not expecting anything but a really, really tough game
2020 07 07 Retrieve
[Wycombe booked their place in the League One play-off final with a 6-3 aggregate victory over Fleetwood, following a 2-2 draw in the semi-final second leg at Adams Park] Where this place has come from, where we were, is unbelievable and the players deserve all the credit. We had a real test tonight, one of the best footballing teams I’ve seen at Wycombe. They’ve got a good thing going at Fleetwood. Fred Onyedinma relieved the pressure with his second because, believe me, I still thought we could be caught. They deserve it and I’m so, so proud
We will have a big study on what we are going to do and how we are going to go forward but there are a few legs that need a rest for the minute. Next Monday we’re one game away from dreamland. For this club, it’s amazing and I’m so proud to be the manager
2020 07 09 Retrieve
[They now have the chance to reach the Championship for the first time ever, and Ainsworth is gutted for all the fans who will not be able to witness the occasion in person if his side can win] I feel for the fans more than the players. I don’t have too much sympathy for the players, they get to play at Wembley and get that occasion, so it’s the fans I feel really sorry for. They’ve been with us through thick and thin. We have a new generation of fans coming through, especially with the [new owner] Rob Couhig’s influence and the way we want to transform Adams Park into something special. For those fans not to be able to make the Wembley trip is going to be tough. But we all know they will be at home watching it
We’ve had more sales of kits and specifically children’s kits, which is great to know Wycombe school kids are now wearing Wycombe shirts instead of Premier League and London clubs which have dominated this area for so long. They’re not afraid to wear a Wycombe shirt now. The players do not realise what they have done for these people. I’m so proud to be at the front of this all, but I must credit all my staff and players, they’ve been fantastic for me. If we can go one step further - I think our fans would probably swap a trip to Wembley for Championship football next year - I think that might have to be the trade!
[Wycombe beat Joey Barton’s Fleetwood over two semi-final legs to set up Monday’s tie with Oxford, who overcame Portsmouth in the last four] This week has been a microwave of getting planning done on Oxford, making sure the injuries are fine with the boys and making sure the fitness levels are right because Wembley is a bigger pitch than most. I’m hoping that bit of individual brilliance can come out from our players. It’s been a tough week, but I’ve been here before, so it’s not totally new to me.
2020 07 11 Retrieve
[Adebayo Akinfenwa and Gareth Ainsworth - The Beast and his boss taking Wycombe to new heights] I can’t take total credit for the idea of sending clips, but I think Pep Guardiola once said he’s a great idea stealer. The idea was to put up a video clip of each player on every day in a random order and instigate some banter or comments and you then see how valuable people are in the squad. I saw Bayo’s two clips the other day and I’ll have a bit more of that - they were superb! We’ll have to get them out there.
It goes back a long way to something we did right at the start of my tenure when we took the boys to the Somme. It made me look into the military a little bit more and see how it worked; they have one leader at the top who delegates people to lead everything underneath and very few problems get to him if he puts the right people in charge. What I’ve done at the club is to appoint these ‘generals’ and over the last four or five seasons, it’s been superb.
Bayo is one of the generals along with Matt Bloomfield, Joe Jacobson, Dominic Gape and they run the dressing room. They uphold my standards, emulate what we are as a football club and, if anyone is out of line, they are told in the right way. It’s so important for new signings who might think they are something special to come in and be part of the group as something special, not on their own. We’re never going to be able to compete for signing the best players because we are always in a fight and even League Two clubs can outbid us sometimes. But what they can’t outbid us at is this togetherness and spirit we’ve got
I was a player and I know that that wouldn’t have affected me too much; I think being on the show enhances you as a player and you take that into the next day. It was a case of ‘suck it and see’ right at the start and I’ll be honest that I questioned how it would work but you know trust is huge and that on the Saturday, you have to deliver for me. Now I know that you’ve never lost, you can have him for the rest of the season!
Some people would say as a football manager they are meant to be upright, stiff and speak from cue cards and my gaffer came in in full-blown makeup! I couldn’t pull that off! Football is partly to entertain and inspire but it’s also to be an individual and how can you not want to run through walls or play for somebody like that? Don’t ever change, gaffer
2020 07 13 Retrieve
[Wycombe reached the Championship for the first time in their 133-year history after beating Oxford 2-1 at Wembley] That was just amazing. We can’t afford the best footballing players but we’ve got players with heart and determination and that was a Wycombe performance. I’m so, so proud of the boys. They just ground it out and I still just can’t believe that we’re a Championship club
I think Accrington and maybe Rochdale were down there with us as favourites to go down but we were right down there budget-wise. We had nine players turn up on that first day of pre-season and two of them were trialists. [The owners] Rob and Peter Couhig have come in and they’ve just enabled me to fill the slots that I had.
That is for all the fans who are watching at home. I know they were there and we said before the game that we could feel them out on that pitch. That’s a good team Karl Robinson has got and now we’ve beaten both Fleetwood and Oxford, so I think people might start respecting us a little bit more now.
That win means this club is safe for a few years at least and I feel for so many clubs because COVID-19 has really hurt clubs and I know it’s going to be tough for some clubs. But we weren’t going to look this opportunity in the mouth, we were going to take it. All my staff have got everyone spot-on for the performances.
Five years ago, we lost here on penalties but I didn’t want lightning to strike twice. I don’t even watch Joe Jacobson’s penalties normally but I had to watch that one and I’m so glad it’s gone in
2020 07 13b Retrieve
[Wycombe at Wembley: Why Wanderers’ League One play-off final appearance shouldn’t come as a surprise] This is the best team spirit I’ve ever had within a group, both as a player and manager