Gareth Ainsworth sets sights on final push as Wycombe chase play-off spot



Posted Sunday, April 24, 2022 by PA

Gareth Ainsworth sets sights on final push as Wycombe chase play-off spot

Wycombe manager Gareth Ainsworth is targeting one final hurdle when it comes to reaching the League One play-offs following his side’s critical victory over Sheffield Wednesday.

Jordan Obita’s goal means the Chairboys remain sixth, one point ahead of the Owls, who could leapfrog them on Tuesday night if they win their game in hand at Fleetwood.

Even if that happens, however, Wycombe will feel they have every chance of qualifying when they travel to Burton next week for their final regular-season fixture, with only one point currently separating fourth from seventh.

Ainsworth said: “I thought we edged it – it could have been a draw, easily.

“Sheffield Wednesday have come and they’re a Championship side, every player is Championship-quality in their team, so that makes that result so sweet for us.

“The table is absolutely mental – I can’t believe we’ve got 80 points and we are where we are.

“We’re going to have to go again next week and hope some favours are done midweek, what a mental league this is.

“I said judge us after 46 games, but you can start judging after 45 if you want because 80 points is phenomenal in this division, but we need that three points next Saturday to stay in these play-offs.

“If we don’t get in on 83 points, then I don’t know what more we could do.”

The closest either team came to scoring during a scrappy first half was when Wednesday’s Nathaniel Mendez-Laing fired a shot from outside the area narrowly over.

It was Wycombe who broke the deadlock after 62 minutes when Daryl Horgan was put through down the right and he rolled the ball across for Obita to tap into an empty net.

The Owls pressed for an equaliser, with Chey Dunkley missing two good chances before Callum Paterson headed a clear opportunity from Barry Bannan’s cross over the bar with five minutes left.

Wednesday boss Darren Moore said: “I thought today was a scrappy game.

“It was a percentage game, where we had to defend a lot of balls in the air – they make it difficult, they put it onto you.

“I said to the boys: ‘credit to you, you stuck at it,’ but there was one moment in the game where we just switched off on concentration.

“One moment, and it was probably the clearest chance in the game. It fell to them and they put the ball in the back of the net.

“After that, I didn’t feel that we really threatened enough to score the goal to get us back into the game.

“We huffed and puffed in the first half – we had the lion’s share [of possession], but we just failed to get that final touch in the final third.”

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