CHAIRBOYS ARE READY TO GO AGAIN – HAR­RI­MAN

The Football League Paper - - INSIDE: - By Chris Dunlavy

WY­COMBE de­fender Michael Har­ri­man in­sists the plum­met­ing Chairboys can re­cover to reach the League Two play-offs.

Fifth af­ter a 2-0 vic­tory over New­port on New Year’s Day, Gareth Ainsworth’s side dra­mat­i­cally hit the skids fol­low­ing a heart-break­ing FA Cup exit at Spurs, win­ning just TWO more matches in 2017.

They went into the week­end in 11th place, five points be­hind sev­enth-placed Exeter. But, while wins re­main hard to come by, Wy­combe were un­beaten in four.

And, with all but one of the di­vi­sion’s bot­tom five sides to play dur­ing the run-in, Har­ri­man is op­ti­mistic.

“No­body here has given up on those play-off spots,” said the 24-yearold, signed from QPR in Jan­uary 2016.

“That Spurs game did take it out of us. There were a few tired legs, a few changes. Then we lost a cou­ple of games on the spin and it’s al­ways hard to bounce back from that.

“But ev­ery team ex­pe­ri­ences that lit­tle hic­cup at some point. It’s im­pos­si­ble to be to­tally con­sis­tent over 46 matches.

“I think you’ve seen in the last few games that we’ve found that lit­tle bit of form again. Now we’ve got nine games left to re­ally at­tack and see where we fin­ish.

“Any­one who gets on a run can nick a place at the end, and we’re start­ing to gather mo­men­tum.”

Har­ri­man was speak­ing from the Chiltern Way Academy in Wen­dover, spread­ing the mes­sage of anti-dis­crim­i­na­tion char­ity Kick it Out. The ses­sion, led by exCharl­ton mid­fielder Paul Mor­timer, fo­cused on the power of lan­guage and how words, even in­ad­ver­tently, can cause of­fence. “In­equal­ity and dis­crim­i­na­tion is still a mas­sive thing,” said Har­ri­man, who has four caps for the Repub­lic of Ire­land Un­der-21s and made two Premier League ap­pear­ances for the Hoops. “The fact you’re still hear­ing about it now, in 2017, tells you how im­por­tant it is. “Thank­fully, I’ve never ex­pe­ri­enced any­thing first hand, but I know play­ers who have. “See­ing how it af­fects them and leaves scars, it’s not nice. That’s why it’s great to be in­volved. “The ques­tions I get from the kids are gen­er­ally foot­ball-re­lated. Best player you’ve played against, that sort of thing. “But, within that, I’m help­ing Paul to ed­u­cate them. How to recog­nise dis­crim­i­na­tion, how to re­port it if they or some­one else is suf­fer­ing. “It’s about let­ting them know that ev­ery­body needs a help­ing hand and it’s all right to come for­ward and re­port some­thing like this. “It’s also about the right way to phrase things. They might not be do­ing it on pur­pose, so it’s be­ing aware of what you’re say­ing and how it can of­fend some­one. It’s im­por­tant to help them un­der­stand the power of words and I do think we opened their eyes to that. “At the end of the day, we want foot­ball to be an en­joy­able place. “If we can stamp it out at grass­roots level, hope­fully we won’t be hear­ing about it in ten or 15 years’ time.”

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Im­ages

KICK­ING IT OUT: Wy­combe’s Michael Har­ri­man

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