26 December 2022

Joey Barton credits Gareth Ainsworth for Wycombe’s come-from-behind success

26 December 2022

Joey Barton credited opposition manager Gareth Ainsworth after Bristol Rovers lost 2-1 to Wycombe in Sky Bet League One.

Barton’s side went ahead just four minutes in through on-loan Middlesbrough forward Josh Coburn, although David Wheeler pulled the hosts level in the 22nd minute.

A strike from Lewis Wing in the 48th minute was enough to hand the Chairboys victory, meaning Ainsworth’s side have now gained 10 points from the last 12 available.

The result means Wycombe are now in the top six for the first time since the opening weekend of the season, whilst Rovers are 10th.

Barton said: “Today was a game in a way that we really shouldn’t have lost, especially after going 1-0 up, but you have got to give credit to Gareth Ainsworth.

“He has been here for years, has kept them up, got them to the Championship and if he had a better style of football, he probably would have got a bigger job than this [Wycombe].

“I don’t know if it’s the red skin boots, the leather jacket or the amount of time the ball is in the air that has cost him a move, but again, that’s great for him and he has done an incredible job here at Wycombe.

“I wouldn’t swap for any of their players, their style of football or their ground – albeit the pitch here is very nice, but it’s not as good as ours.”

Meanwhile, Ainsworth believed it was the decision to play Sam Vokes that proved key for his side, who continued a fine run of form despite falling behind early on.

He commented: “Recently, we have played some free-flowing stuff on the wings but today, I thought it was going to be a physical battle.

“We started with Sam Vokes which I knew was going to raise a few eyebrows, especially after we went 1-0 down, but trust me, I have been in this game long enough to give us some success.

“And our first goal was brilliant as it was from a Vokesy flick-on, to Garath McCleary, to Anis Mehmeti who gave it to David Wheeler – and we’re level.

“It was a perfect goal but the win was the most important thing – and the boys got it.”

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