I will pull boots on if Wy­combe need subs’

Wan­der­ers boss Ainsworth says he is ready for a run-out

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - SPORT - By Paul War­bur­ton paul.war­bur­ton@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

READY TO Wy­combe boss Gareth Ainsworth said he will play for Wan­der­ers of they are short of play­ers GARETH Ainsworth in­sists he will pull his boots on again – but only if Wy­combe Wan­der­ers need a 14th man.

If push comes to shove, the 41-year-old boss is ready to throw him­self into the fray, not least be­cause he keeps match fit each Sun­day morn­ing turn­ing out for Fin­champ­stead Ath­letic in the Brack­nell Town & Dis­trict Sun­day League.

His Sun­day pals re­turned the favour by turn­ing up en masse to see the man­ager’s Satur­day team shoot down high fliers Southend 4-1 two weeks ago.

Wy­combe en­joyed a rare full bench on that oc­ca­sion, but on a ra­tioned bud­get and a heap of hol­i­day fix­tures round the cor­ner, Ainsworth knows he could be the emer­gency cover if needs must.

“I train prob­a­bly once a week, and I play for Fin­champ­stead who were all at the game against Southend,” he said.

“I train when I can with the boys, and maybe in the gym with the staff after, but if we’ve got 13 men then I’ll be the 14th. If we’ve got three subs, I’ll stay out of the team.”

How­ever, Ainsworth is happy to visit the board­room when­ever to dis­cuss fu­ture plans. He knows all about chair­men hav­ing cut his teeth or, more ac­cu­rately, was left grind­ing them at the an­tics of his first boss at QPR six years back.

Er­ratic Ital­ian mag­nate Flavio Bri­a­tore al­lowed cam­eras to film a set-up where mad­cap de­ci­sions ruled a club in dis­ar­ray as Ainsworth man­fully tried to pull dis­jointed ends to­gether.

Now, with An­drew Howard lead­ing Wy­combe, Ainsworth is hap­pier with a man whose prag­matic business skills start with feet firmly planted on the ground.

A squad visit to Howard’s ice cream fac­tory re­cently was a timely re­minder that life in foot­ball is lux­ury com­pared to the lot of the work­ing man.

The man­ager said: “We’ve put a few team-build­ing things in place to re­mind them how lucky they are. This is life ed­u­ca­tion, and although it’s 90 per cent foot­ball, the other 10 per cent is other things.

“Bri­a­tore and An­drew Howard? They’re worlds apart. Chair­men can be fans them­selves, and their ex­pec­ta­tion lev­els are some­times in­flu­enced by other fans.

“Our chair­man is a Leeds fan for a start. He won’t make de­ci­sions based on emo­tion. He’s a business man who knows how to man­age peo­ple. With­out him man­ag­ing me I don’t think we would be do­ing as well this sea­son, and he doesn’t speak Ital­ian.”

Ainsworth missed Wy­combe’s trip to Ac­cring­ton on Satur­day due to ill­ness, but in his ab­sence a 1-1 draw en­sured his side would be top of League Two on Christ­mas Day.


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