Last season was quite the heartbreaker for Wycombe Wanderers, its fans, owners, manager and players. Gareth Ainsworth’s men were seconds from promotion when Southend struck an equaliser to send the final to penalties. 20 minutes later and it was Southend who came out victorious. But Wycombe are back and are ready for another assault on League Two promotion.
Last Season: League Two (4th)
Manager: Gareth Ainsworth
GKs: Matt Ingram, Alex Lynch
DFs: Sido Jombati, Joe Jacobson, Anthony Stewart, Aaron Pierre, Ryan Sellers, Danny Rowe, Michael Harriman
MFs: Marcus Bean, Matt Bloomfield, Sam Wood, Max Kretzschmar, Luke O’Nien
FWs: Garry Thompson, Paul Hayes, Jason Banton, Aaron Holloway
In: Garry Thompson (Notts County), Ryan Sellers (Free), Anthony Stewart (Crewe Alexandra), Jason Banton (Plymouth Argyle), Danny Rowe (Rotherham United), Luke O’Nien (Watford), Michael Harriman (QPR – Loan)
Out: Steven Craig (Released), Nathan Evans (Released), Tommy Fletcher (Released), Charlie Horlock (Released), Matt McClure (Dagenham & Redbridge), Peter Murphy (Morecambe)
First Six: York City (H), Barnet (A), Morecambe (A), Dagenham & Redbridge (H), Crawley Town (A), Hartlepool United (H)
Likely Lineup: (4-2-3-1) Lynch – Harriman, Stewart, Pierre, Jacobson – Bean, Wood – Hayes, Banton, Thompson – Holloway
A word from…Scott McGleish
On scoring goals at that level It’s always a huge confidence boost, it’s expected of strikers, it’s our job to score goals but it is always good for you when you start scoring on a regular basis wherever you’re at.
On his time at Wycombe and Paul Lambert I had a great time at Wycombe, I was only there around 18 months with loans but I did enjoy it and I always keep an eye out for them and still go down to games when I get the chance. Paul Lambert brought me in but I wasn’t getting in the team, Tommy Mooney & Jermaine Easter were in the team, they’d been part of the great cup run the team had and I couldn’t get a regular run of games.
But the next season Paul actually came to me in pre-season and told me he’d made a mistake by not starting me the season before, he came and said that to my face. That was the great thing about Paul, he was straight and honest with you and he’d admit his mistakes. That season he put me in the team and I scored 26 goals!
He was great to work with, something a bit different to other managers I’d had but he was great for us and you could tell he would go on and work at a better level eventually.
On picking yourself up It can be difficult, we lost a semi-final so I’m not sure how much worse the team will be feeling this summer but you’ve just got to come back and get ready for the new season.
I used to go home and see my family and try and give myself a distraction, I hated losing, I hated losing any game so I tried to treat those games no differently, a loss was always a bad thing no matter what game it was.
But they’ll get the players in and try and focus their minds on the new season, they’ve got a good squad and it’s important that they’re ready to go for August.
On summer recruitment They’ve brought in that mix of flair and experience and I think that’s important, especially at times when things went wrong like last season, players like that can keep you focused and Gareth will already have a specific idea of what he wants from them all again this season.
The Offside Rule Podcast Prediction: The squad still looks a bit thin on the ground and it will be important that Wycombe start strongly and hit adversity head on. If they do, they’re a strong side with a good chance but it may take a little drop down the table this season to go full steam ahead again in the future.
Key Player: Paul Hayes – The experienced striker will have been important in stopping heads from dropping over the summer and he’s still their main man up front. If he can keep finding the net, Wycombe are a better team for it.
One to Watch: Michael Harriman – The QPR defender had a great loan spell in the division for Luton last summer and had a loan at Adams Park two years ago. He’s a solid defender who is still only 22 and will be a good addition to the squad.