Ainsworth hope­ful of writ­ing a fairy­tale

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Rich Dean

WY­COMBE won’t give up on a fairy­tale play-off place ac­cord­ing to man­ager Gareth Ainsworth, de­spite slip­ping to de­feat to fel­low pro­mo­tion chasers Mans­field.

Krys­tian Pearce’s first-half goal set­tled this en­counter at Adams Park and leaves Wy­combe four points off the play-offs with four games re­main­ing.

Just as cru­cially, they are down in 13th, but Ainsworth is con­fi­dent his team can still achieve the un­likely and fin­ish in the top seven.

He said: “There are some tough games com­ing up, and we need to re­ally raise our game for Mon­day.

“I was re­ally happy with the per­for­mance. I was buoyed by the at­mos­phere of the crowd, and we go and pre­pare for Mon­day.

“Who says we can't win all four? And if we do, we will be very close for the play-offs.

“Bar­net is a big game on Mon­day, we’ve got to con­cen­trate on get­ting that win. We have only lost one in eight, and we go there pos­i­tively. Who knows? I am al­ways open for a fairy­tale. I think we can win all four games.

“It would be im­mense to make the play-offs and we are do­ing all we can to do so. This club is now a solid out­fit with a good struc­ture, and with­out fi­nan­cial strug­gles. That is very pos­i­tive.”

The Chair­boys had their chances to get some­thing out of this game, par­tic­u­larly in the sec­ond half, but they came up against a Mans­field keeper in in­spired form.

Jake Kean was out­stand­ing in keep­ing a clean sheet, with one save from Ade­bayo Ak­in­fenwa par­tic­u­larly im­pres­sive, and puts the Stags just two points off the play-off spots.

And man­ager Steve Evans was quick to praise his keeper for his ac­ro­bat­ics in nul­li­fy­ing Wy­combe.

He added: “It was a su­per save by Jake (Kean), prob­a­bly one of the best live saves I’ve ever seen. Not many peo­ple stop Ade­bayo Ak­in­fenwa scor­ing from that po­si­tion. It was a truly fan­tas­tic save.

“It was two good teams out there, if any­thing we de­served to win the game, but two good teams were on show.

“It was al­ways go­ing to be tough, we changed our sys­tem to play against Ak­in­fenwa, and we will change again on Mon­day (against Lu­ton), although I’m not say­ing what we will change to.

“We'll get on the train­ing ground and cool down, and train prop­erly on Sun­day to be ready to give our­selves a chance of clos­ing the gap.

“Mon­day is the big­gest game of the sea­son, and be­fore that this was the big­gest.”

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