Ainsworth battling to stave off Mansfield heartbreak

Wycome manager Gareth Ainsworth.
Wycome manager Gareth Ainsworth.

Wycombe Wanderers boss Gareth Ainsworth is hoping his club’s season-long flirtation with the play-offs doesn’t end in Good Friday heartbreak against rivals Mansfield Town.

“We are definitely better equipped to go on a run this year as opposed to last,” said Ainsworth.

“We have had a great season with two great cup runs and we don’t want to lose sight of that.

BIG MATCH PREVIEW - all you need to know

“We wanted to be flirting with the play-offs this season and hopefully we can keep flirting with them right to the end and just get in there.

“That would be fantastic. It would be a really good achievement. The expectation levels are good here. They are always high. The fans want success and they are disappointed when they don’t get it.”

He added: “The good thing about Wycombe is that we can come down to earth and know where we are as a club.

“We have really come a long way as a club in the last three years and to be in this position is great. We should have had two more points after Saturday and that would make it even better.

“Let’s just see where we end up and I want this right until the end of the season, with something to play for right until the Cambridge game.”

Against Cheltenham, striker Scott Kashket made his long-awaited comeback from injury when he was introduced as a second half substitute.

Ainsworth explained he was delighted to have the former Leyton Orient man back for selection and the manager believes he will be a key player in the remaining five games.

He added: “I was very impressed with his cameo last weekend. People don’t know the extent of his injury and he wasn’t 100 per cent for that game.

“We have to be careful with him. We don’t want to lose him for the season but we do want the best out of him so it is a real fine balance with him.

“If I can start a fit Scott Kashket then I will because he is above the level and he has proved that already and he is big threat when he is on the pitch.”