BIG MATCH PREVIEW: Wycombe Wanderers v Mansfield Town – Friday, 25th March 2016

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BIG MATCH PREVIEW – ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW

Like last week this is a crunch game between two sides with play-off ambitions, though Wycombe are much closer with only a two-point gap to surmount.

Stags’ achieved a fine 1-1 home draw with Portsmouth last Saturday but, as good as it was, it still represented a fourth game without a win at exactly the wrong time of season.

Stags now have a massive task to claw back a seven point gap to the play-off zone and, with games running out and runaway leaders Northampton Town at One Call Stadium on Monday, a win at Wycombe is looking crucial.

Adam Murray is taking his team down to Buckinghamshire on Thursday to prepare them for one of their most important games of the season.

Click HERE to read a report from Stags v Portsmouth last Saturday

Click HERE to see the video highlights of Stags v Portsmouth

Click HERE to see highlights of Carlisle v Wycombe last weekend

STAGS TEAM NEWS

Adam Murray will be without Reggie Lambe, on international duty with Bermuda, and the suspended Adi Yussuf, who has taken advantage of his absence to go and take part in Tanzani’s international training, though is unable to play.

Otherwise, Murray has a full squad to chose from with Matty Blair hopeful of recapturing the wide left role after being left out in favour of Sean Kavanagh last weekend but impressing when coming on.

After a decent all-round display, it’s hard to see any other changes likely.

POSSIBLE STAGS STARTING XI (4-1-3-2)

Shearer, Alfei, Tafazolli, Pearce, Benning; Collins; Rose, Clements, Blair; Dieseruvwe, Green.

WYCOMBE TEAM NEWS

Gareth Ainsworth strengthened his attacking options ahead of the loan transfer deadline with the capture of Aston Villa starlet Jerell Sellars.

The 20-year-old has been a regular goalscorer for Villa’s under-21 side this season and joins the Chairboys on loan for the rest of the campaign, going straight into the squad to face Stags.

Jamaican international midfielder Marcus Bean will miss the game with suspension after receiving a straight red against Carlisle last time out.

Milwall loanee forward Paris Cowan-Hall also misses out after sustaining a season-ending ankle injury in training. Also out is keeper Alex Lynch with a thigh injury.

POSSIBLE WYCOMBE STARTING XI (4-3-3)

Allsop; McCarthy, Stewart, Pierre, Jacobson, Harriman, Bloomfield, O’Nien, Hayes (C), Liburd, Thompson.

KEY BATTLE: MATTY BLAIR v JASON McCARTHY

Matty Blair, or whoever is selected to play wide left, will probably come up against one of the best players in the division’s second meanest defence.

Southampton loanee Jason McCarthy has been superb at the back, playing at both centre back and right back and scoring the winner in the derby game against Oxford.

He is an integral part of a defence which has conceded only 34 League goals, bettered only by Plymouth Argyle, and formed the backbone of Wycombe’s efforts this season.

WYCOMBE ONE TO WATCH: LUKE O’NIEN

Luke O’Nien has five goals from midfield including a header at Mansfield earlier this season.

O’Nien had been with Watford since the age of nine and spent a year on loan at Wealdstone last season, scoring five goals in 35 appearances.

Following his release from Vicarage Road, O’Nien caught the eye of Gareth Ainsworth during a trial period and earned a one-year deal, making his debut in the opening day win against York City.

The ex-Watford trainee now has scored five goals in 37 games for the Chairboys, with three of them being the winner in 1-0 victories.

Watch out also for former QPR utility player Michael Harriman, who has the ability to produce individual moments of quality.

Click HERE to see video of Luke Nien showing off his keepy-up skills with a golf ball!

OPPOSITION MANAGER: GARETH AINSWORTH

Gareth Ainsworth has been insistent on a target of 61 points for the season and still argues that a play-off place would be a bonus for his side despite last year’s exploits, when they lost the play-off final on penalties to Southend United, and their current league position.

Ainsworth has managed a young squad well to create a team which relies on energy and hard work rather than flair to collect points.

He has absorbed the loss of long term keeper Matt Ingram well in the January window while also operating on a shoestring budget.

A small squad has hamstrung his selection at times but Ainsworth has managed his resources well.

A former youth player at Blackburn Rovers, Ainsworth went on to have an 18-year career in which he played for numerous clubs including lengthy spells at Preston North End Lincoln City and Queens Park Rangers, where he played 141 times over seven years and was twice caretaker-manager.

He ended his playing career at Wycombe and, after a short time as player-manager, retired to concentrate on management in April 2013.

Gareth’s nickname is Wild Thing, partly due to his long-haired appearance and partly due to his rock star aspirations, singing with his band Road to Eden.

Ainsworth’s mum was a singer who once turned down an EMI recording contract and he gigged throughout his playing days.

Click HERE to see a video of Ainsworth tackling Green Day and Blur onstage at a charity event.

WYCOMBE SEASON SO FAR

It’s been a strange season in many ways for the Chairboys as a lack of goals – only 40 in the league so far – has been balanced out by a consistent defence.

They have tended to go on runs of games without defeat followed by lengthy periods of inconsistency.

Nevertheless they are only two points outside the play-offs, but the lack of goals may ultimately mean they just miss out.

Despite only three wins in their last 10 games, Wycombe are still unbeaten in their last three.

LAST MEETING

Saturday, 31st October 2015: Mansfield Town 0, Wycombe Wanderers 2

A goal in either half secured a 2-0 win for Wycombe Wanderers to ruin Adam Murray’s 50th game in charge of Mansfield Town.

Luke O’Nien headed home from close range on eight minutes, before Aaron Amadi-Holloway wrapped up the points in injury time.

Goalkeeper Matt Ingram pulled off a number of key saves throughout as Wanderers secured their first win in five.

Stags flowing attacking football carved out a number of chances throughout the 90 minute as they showed why they can be such a potent attacking force.

But they failed to make the most of the many openings as they slipped to their second successive home defeat.

Click HERE to read a full match report

Click HERE to see video highlights of the game

GROUND AND TICKETS

Wanderers’ home ground of Adams Park offers a very pleasant surprise for fans travelling down through the Sands Industrial Estate for the first time as the end of the road sees the vista open out and the ground has a picturesque, rural setting, sitting as it does in a valley, surrounded by green hills on three sides.

It is two miles due west of High Wycombe and not hugely accessible either by public or private transport.

The stadium was opened in time for the 1990–91 season, and had a capacity of 6,000 with 1,267 seats in the Main Stand. It now houses 10,000 and until 2014 was also the home of London Wasps Rugby Union side for 12 years.

The ground was named Adams Park in honour of benefactor and former captain Frank Adams. Adams had bought the former ground Loakes Park for the club, whose sale financed the move to the stadium named after him.

Click HERE to see aerial video footage of the ground and its picturesque surrounds

Traffic is often heavy around Adams Park on matchdays so drivers are advised to allow plenty of time.

Adams Park is signposted from the M40 with brown football/stadium signs.

Leave the M40 at Junction 4 and take the A4010 (John Hall Way, signposted Aylesbury).

Cross over three small roundabouts into New Road continuing down the hill to two mini roundabouts at the bottom.

Turn sharp left at the first into Lane End Road and continue to the next mini roundabout at which turn right into Hillbottom Road. Adams Park is situated at the very end of the road.

There are limited parking facilities at the ground and access before and after the game is often busy. Upper tier parking in official club car park at £5 and parking behind the JFC building on Hillbottom Road is also priced at £5.

Street parking is also available in the vicinity of the ground, however, supporters are warned that traffic wardens patrol the area regularly so you should park sensibly and respect the club’s neighbours.

Wycombe away tickets for Stags fans will remain on sale at One Call Stadium until 4pm on Thursday. You can pay on the day but all tickets will be subject to a £2 increase, though child tickets will remain free of charge

Stags have been allocated 400 tickets in the Panache Stand for the Good Friday match

Adult (26-59) £20

Seniors (60+) £17

Young adults (19-25) £15

Juniors (8-18) £11

Child (under 8) FREE

Supporters requiring wheelchair/carer tickets should contact the Wycombe Wanderers ticket office on 01494 441 118 to arrange tickets.

Don’t forget to read the match report at www.chad.co.uk after the game.

Keep in touch with all things Mansfield Town 24/7 via our new Mansfield Town Live Scribble feed.

The button link is located on the menu just below the main Chad masthead at the top of our home web page – www.chad.co.uk.

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It is a treasure trove of everything any Mansfield Town fan could want to read and from there you can also trawl back through older material you may have missed.

You can also join in on the feed at any time yourself too, using #ChadStags.

You can also have your say on all things Mansfield Town by emailing sport@chad.co.uk.