‘We can walk away with our pride in­tact’

Boss al­ready look­ing for­ward to next sea­son

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - PLAY-OFF FINAL - By Matt Lewis matt.lewis@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

out of the league and talk of ex­tinc­tion to be­ing at Wem­b­ley and 20 sec­onds from pro­mo­tion is some­thing we’re proud of.

“We’ll go again next sea­son and we’ll have our mo­ment.” PROUD Wy­combe Wan­der­ers manager Gareth Ainsworth walked away from Wem­b­ley with his head held high de­spite de­feat to Southend United in the play-off fi­nal.

The Chair­boys were just sec­onds from pro­mo­tion when Joe Pig­got struck in the dy­ing em­bers of ex­tra time, af­ter Joe Ja­cob­son’s free-kick was turned into his own net by Dan Bent­ley.

Pig­ott’s strike forced a dra­matic penalty shoot-out un­der the arch and it was the Shrimpers who pre­vailed as popular duo Matt Bloom­field and Sam Wood failed to beat Bent­ley from the spot.

It was the nar­row­est of de­feats and Wan­der­ers can be proud of their ef­forts at the home of foot­ball, par­tic­u­larly given it was only a year ago that they dodged rel­e­ga­tion on the fi­nal day.

Ainsworth re­fused to be dis­heart­ened de­spite the heart­break­ing out­come at Wem­b­ley and says he can­not wait to go again in League Two next sea­son.

“I am proud and I am op­ti­mistic for Wy­combe,” he said. “It is ob­vi­ously a dev­as­tat­ing way to lose, but not for me.

“The play­ers will feel it more than me.

“I am ready now to build. I have had a great taste of it – a phe­nom­e­nal sea­son – and I’m re­ally look­ing for­ward to start­ing again on Au­gust 8, I re­ally am.

“The play­ers are down and they have given ev­ery­thing. They have given ev­ery­thing on the day and

DRA­MATIC: (Above) Gareth Ainsworth speaks to his play­ers dur­ing a break in play; x“(right) giv­ing his play­ers the thumbs-up did not get any­thing out of it. but I’ll be telling the­mem to look at the big­ger er pic­ture.

“It has been an n amaz­ing turn­around and I have noth­ing but ad­mi­ra­tion for the play­ers, fans and staff and I’ll be rel­ish­ing work­ing with them m again.

“I told the play­ers that hat no­body leaves this sta­di­u­mum with their head down and to be proud of the sea­son­son and if any­body thinks nks oth­er­wise then come to see me be­cause I am proud of them.

“I have had de­feats and bad mo­ments in my ca­reer, eer, but this wasn’t a badad mo­ment. We were part of a mo­men­tous battle ttle to­day.”

Ainsworth will nowow begin his prepa­ra­tions for next term and in­sist­sists Wy­combe Wan­der­ers will stick to their orig­i­nal fiveveyear plan for sus­tain­abil­ity,ty, de de­spite ex­ceed­ing exp ex­pec­ta­tions this sea sea­son.

The Chair­boys ch chief penned a n new long-term c con­tract on B Boxing Day at A Adams Park afte af­ter drawing up a bluep blue­print for the fu­ture of the club along­side chair­man An­drew How Howard.

Howard spoke of sur­vival, sta­bil­ity and suc­cess whe when out­lin­ing his vi­sion for the fu­ture of Wan­der­ers over the next five years a and stay­ing up was the re re­quire­ment for 2014-15.

Ainsworth said: “We are ahead of th the plan and as long as we stay ahead of the plan we will be fine. We have a five­five-year plan and we are well ahead of it in year one on the pitch.

“Play-offs was in year three of the plan, not year one. Now i it is about the ex­pec­ta­tion in year two.

“An­drew showed me what he wan wanted to do with the club and I said I wanted to be a part of the five-year plan at Wy­combe Wan­der­ers – that is to be a sus­tain­able League One club in five y years.”

We have a five-year plan

and we are well ahead of it on year one on the


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