04 December 2022

Gareth Ainsworth hails ‘outstanding’ Wycombe after defeat of Portsmouth

04 December 2022

Wycombe manager Gareth Ainsworth felt his side once again showed they are capable of beating the best sides in Sky Bet League One following their deserved 2-0 win over Portsmouth.

The Chairboys’ first home win since they defeated Peterborough in October was enough to lift them back into the top half of the table and up to 10th.

While Portsmouth can be considered one of the third tier’s bigger names, they are in a poor run of form and are now eighth, having won only one of their last 10 league games, after creating little at Adams Park.

Ainsworth said: “We’ve got that in us, we know we have this season – Peterborough here, Portsmouth here.

“I thought we could have had more goals, not to rub salt in anything, but we could have had three or four today and no one would have grumbled.

“I thought the boys were outstanding at what we worked on in the week.

“The pace in that front three to start with was superb and Anis Mehmeti is causing all sorts of problems to all sorts of defenders, an outstanding game he had.

“The solidity of Alfie [Mawson] and Taff [Ryan Tafazolli] at the back, they were the leaders I was asking for.

“I felt like we had those back today and we felt like we were solid, we were going to soak up whatever they were going to chuck at us, and we had the chance to go and score goals.”

Wycombe led after 13 minutes when David Wheeler battled for the ball before passing to Brandon Hanlan, who laid it off Mehmeti to hammer a first-time shot into the top corner.

The win was finally secured by the Chairboys with two minutes remaining when Mehmeti cut the ball back for Garath McCleary to stroke a calm finish into the net.

Portsmouth boss Danny Cowley said: “We’re really disappointed today. I don’t think we got to our levels.

“When you come to Wycombe, you know what to expect and you have to make sure you earn the right [to play], and we didn’t do that in the first half.

“We were really poor physically and I don’t think we won anywhere near enough duels, we didn’t give ourselves a platform to be able to play from and we conceded a really soft goal.

“We picked a physical team because you have to when you come to Wycombe, but we were short in that area.

“I thought we improved in the second half and I thought we definitely wrestled the control and the momentum in the game, but we were short of quality then in the final third, whether that was sometimes the execution or sometimes the decision-making.”

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