Ainsworth suc­cess is mind over mat­ter...

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Aaron Paul

MAN­AGER Gareth Ainsworth re­vealed the se­cret be­hind Wy­combe Wan­der­ers’ first win in more than a month was re­fo­cus­ing the play­ers’ minds.

The Chair­boys last gave their sup­port­ers rea­son for cheer on Au­gust 13 when An­thony Stew­art’s last-gasp goal saw off Grimsby Town.

Five league matches have fol­lowed with­out re­ward, but Dayle South­well’s goal in the clos­ing sec­onds of the first half was enough to get Ainsworth’s team back on track with their sec­ond win of the sea­son.

The boss said: “It’s been very tough, but I’ll pay credit to peo­ple who’ve worked hard this week for me be­hind the scenes. We’ve done plenty of work on the men­tal side and re­silience.

“They’re all good play­ers but some­times the mind, it needs to be strong.

“In the first half we were the bet­ter team with­out doubt, we could have had two or three as Dayle South­well missed a cou­ple of chances.

“I got wor­ried as there was a 15-minute pe­riod to­wards the end where they were com­ing back into it.

“There’s plenty to work on, but it’s nice to have a re­sult like that.

“I’ve al­ways said I want to be mid-ta­ble come the turn of the year when I think we’ll be stronger.”

In a quiet open­ing Michael Har­ri­man’s free-kick pro­duced an ex­cel­lent save from Jamie Jones.

Wy­combe again went close with South­well fail­ing to con­vert a gilt-edged chance on the stroke of half-time.

The 22-year-old, signed from Bos­ton United in the sum­mer, then went from vil­lain to hero mo­ments later, tap­ping home Sam Wood’s cross in the third minute of first-half stop­page time.

Both sides upped the tempo in the sec­ond pe­riod, but the Chair­boys re­sisted Steve­nage’s ef­forts with An­drew Fox spurn­ing the best chance for the vis­i­tors, and a bar­rage of long balls com­ing to noth­ing.

Steve­nage boss Dar­ren Sarll said: “I thought we were great. We were the bet­ter side and I can’t be­lieve any­one would ques­tion that opin­ion. We had a greater amount of goal­mouth ac­tion than the home team.

“I go home very dis­ap­pointed – no one in my or­gan­i­sa­tion cel­e­brates los­ing – but also I go home very proud of my play­ers.

“They’ve shown a re­silience and de­ter­mi­na­tion and fight to re­ally pull a point or three points out.

“It was a great chance to jump in­side the top ten, but it was a great per­for­mance, show­ing fight and pride for Steve­nage.”


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