Wanderers in need of final-day heroics again
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BILL Murray did all he could to escape the timewarp that was the 1993 film Groundhog Day – but when it comes to Wycombe Wanderers’ quest for automatic promotion, Steven Craig is queueing up for that feeling of deja vu, writes Jon Batham.
Last season, striker Craig was part of a Wycombe side who won at Torquay on the final day to avoid slipping out of the football league and a year on, ahead of the last game of the season at Northampton, Craig and co are confronted by a similar scenario at the other end of the League Two table.
Wanderers must beat the Cobblers while relying on Southend to lose at Morecambe and Bury not to win at Tranmere if they are to snatch the last automatic promotion spot and avoid the playoffs.
It is a long shot for a injurydepleted squad Craig admits were ‘running on empty’ after last Saturday’s 1-0 home defeat to Morecambe, but with the memories of last year’s heroics still fresh, the 34-year-old vowed to hold nothing back for the impending knockout lottery.
“Saturday is the same scenario as last year so to speak, and there will be no thought of saving energy for the play-offs,” he said.
“It is a cup final for us because if we win we know we still have a chance of finishing third, so that is how we will go into it.
“We will go into the game with the exact same mentality we did last year, a mentality the gaffer has drummed into us throughout the season, which is no fear and all out attack.
“We will need to rely on other teams to do us a favour, but the only thing we can control is the 90 minutes at Northampton, and like every single game this season we will give it our all.”
Aaron Pierre will be back from suspension to bolster defensive resources, but Brentford loanee and set-piece specialist Sam Saunders is a doubt after picking up an injury in the warm-up before last Saturday’s match with the Shrimpers.
For the build-up to Wycombe’s date with destiny, plus all the action and reaction on the day, keep an eye on www.getbucks.co.uk.