I will pull boots on if Wycombe need subs’
Wanderers boss Ainsworth says he is ready for a run-out
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.