Wanderers go for a Burton
Murphy urges play-off finalists to bounce back like Albion Play-off final review - see inside
The Chairboys escaped relegation from the Football League on the final day of the 2013-14 campaign, but defied the odds this year to reach the play-off final.
They ultimately fell just short as Southend triumphed on penalties at Wembley on Saturday night after Joe Piggot’s last-gasp equaliser forced a shoot-out under the arch.
Defeat means Gareth Ainsworth’s side remain in League Two again next term, but recent history suggests Wanderers should not be too disheartened.
Burton were off finalists in beaten 2014, playlosing narrowly to Fleetwood Town, but the Brewers went up automatically this year after clinching the title under Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink.
Murphy, who scored Wycombe’s first spot kick before Matt Bloomfield and Sam Wood saw their efforts saved, reckons the Chairboys can take belief from Albion’s resurgence.
“We were 30 seconds from being there, but that’s football,” he said. “We showed what we’re capable of on the biggest stage – it doesn’t get bigger than Wembley and everyone should be proud of the lads.
“Last year we stayed up on the final day and nobody wanted to see that again. This year we made the play-offs and watched Southend lift the trophy and nobody wants to see that again either.
“We want to be the ones lifting the trophy next season. Burton lost at Wembley last season and they’ve won the league this year. There’s no reason we can’t do the same.
“I know it’s hard at the e moment, but we’ve got to o take the positives. Havingg stayed up on the final dayy last year, nobody thought t we’d get anywhere nearr this. We’ve got to go again next season.
“The manager told us he was proud of us and I feel exactly the same way. I’m proud of everyone in that dressing room and this has been the best season of my football life.”
Wanderers’ boss wasted little time in announcing his plans for another crack at League Two by confirming four players would leave the club on Monday.
Matt McClure, Tommy Fletcher, Charlie Horlock and Nathan Evans will all be heading out of Adams Park this summer following the expiration of their contracts.
Ainsworth last week moved to tie down Aaron Holloway to a new contract and has now
(Main picture) Peter Murphy scores in the shoot-out on Saturday; (above) Matt McClure also offered fresh terms to former QPR youngster Hogan Ephraim.
Talks with Scottish striker Steven Craig are planned for later in the summer.