01 March 2022

Gareth Ainsworth hails ‘turning point’ as Wycombe claim overdue victory

01 March 2022

Wycombe manager Gareth Ainsworth was thrilled to see his team end their poor run of form in style with a 3-0 victory over Cambridge.

The Chairboys played with more confidence than you would expect from a side who had not won any of their last seven games, opening up a two-goal lead in the first 15 minutes at Adams Park.

The clean sheet would have been just as welcome, after Wycombe had leaked 11 goals in their previous three matches, as they moved to within one point of the play-off places in Sky Bet League One.

Ainsworth said: “I thought the boys were superb tonight. We had one scare there, where Sam Vokes has cleared off the line, and apart from that we looked dangerous a lot of the time.

“We’ve been working on one or two things, as people will have seen from that performance, and I’m proud of the boys and the bravery they showed on the ball.

“They’re good players, very good players when they can put it together like that.

“Garath (McCleary) was outstanding – back to his best. We had a meeting yesterday when Garath stood up and said, ‘this is just a bad run – the performances have been there’. He was right.

“We’ve got some good players in this side now and we need to play to those players’ strengths.

“There’s touches of quality now – real quality – in the games and I think tonight was a real good turning point for us this season.”

Wycombe’s opener was fortuitous, as Daryl Horgan’s wayward-looking shot struck an unsuspecting Anis Mehmeti and flew past a wrong-footed Dimitar Mitov.

Mehmeti then quickly turned provider, as his cross was volley in by McCleary, who returned the favour with five minutes left when his broke away before squaring for Mehmeti to claim his second.

Cambridge boss Mark Bonner said: “A really tough night for us. I think we’ve played against a team that, if they get in front in the game, they make it really difficult for you.

“The first goal was so unfortunate, really. There was probably a bit too much space for him to work his shot, but off the back of that it’s obviously just took a deflection.

“The second goal, coming so soon after, we don’t defend against the dribbler in the box too well, it flashes across the goal and McCleary comes in off the back post to score from the cut-back.

“It’s a well-executed goal from their side, but one we’ve got to do better with.

“That made the game very difficult because, at that point, we had quite a lot of the ball in deep areas, but we didn’t create enough tempo to the game.”

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