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League One

“Relationships my biggest strength as a manager” - Gareth Ainsworth

10 December 2019

Is everything falling into place for Wycombe Wanderers this season? Manager Gareth Ainsworth believes so.

Speaking during Quest’s EFL highlights show, Ainsworth believes Wycombe are just having ‘one of those seasons’ whilst remaining realistic that the season is only at its half-way point. 
“Results certainly went right for us last weekend,” the Wycombe manager said. "I think we’re just having one of those seasons where recruitment went well pre-season, off the pitch we’ve been fortunate with injuries or lack of, we’ve had a break at the right time and other results are going our way.
“We know it’s very early days. The core message is and always has been just to improve on last season and the boys are certainly doing that, but at the moment things seem to be going well and we just can’t complain about that."
The Chairboys currently sit top of the Sky Bet League One table, four points ahead of second-placed Ipswich Town, so why when asked by Colin Murray if they are underestimated by others in the league does Ainsworth think that they are?
“I think people still tag us as underdogs in many games and I think at times we are underestimated,” he continued. "But you can forgive them for doing that, especially if we're classed as a 'long-ball side'. 
"When you look at the fact that we have Adebayo Akinfenwa in the squad, people may well look at us and think we’re a long-ball team but if you actually watch Bayo, he’s got one of the best touches in the division and playing to his feet is actually his biggest strength. 
“Every manager is different, every manager has their own way but if you were to ask me what my biggest strength is as a manager, I’d say relationships; my relationships with the players, my relationships with the people upstairs, downstairs and everywhere around the club. 
“To get the tactics in place these boys have got to want to play and want to play for this club. You could be the best tactician in the world but if players don’t want to do something or buy into something, then they just won’t do it. 
“So I think my biggest strength is getting them to do things, getting them to work for each other and creating that culture that is so important within a football club." 
At 46 years of age, Ainsworth is a relatively young manager in the game and earlier this year - following the departure of Jim Bentley from Morecambe - he became the EFL’s longest serving manager. 
He also recently graduated from the University of Liverpool with a Diploma in Professional Studies in Football Management, having undertaken a course delivered in association with the League Managers Association. 
“I graduated last week with Pep Clotet and a few others who were on the course as well,” Ainsworth explained. 
"I put a lot of work into it so it was nice to graduate, but again that course is all about relationships. It’s not really coaching or the football side of the game as such, it’s to do with everything else off the pitch and that’s what I found so interesting about it and would recommend it to anyone.” 
Sky Bet League One action continues this weekend, with Wcombe Wanderers facing Burton Albion as they look to extend their lead at the top of the table. 
EFL on Quest is available to watch every Saturday throughout the season from 9pm on Freeview channel 114, Freesat channel 167, Sky channel 144 and Virgin channel 217. 

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