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  • By Yann Tear at Wembley Stadium

Ainsworth beams with pride and vows to help Chairboys bounce back after playoff defeat

Wycombe Wanderers fans have been left with a considerable consolation after their playoff defeat to Sunderland at Wembley - the determination of boss Gareth Ainsworth to come back and fight again next season.

The former QPR favourite was more proud and upbeat than downcast after Saturday's 2-0 loss, which consigned the Chairboys to another season in League One.

He gathered players and staff in a circle on the hallowed turf and assured them that they have it in them to come back stronger next term and have another tilt at gaining promotion.

And down in the bowels of the stadium in his post-match press conference, his mood was one of a beaming proud parent. He has no intention of seeking new pastures and clearly loves life at Adams Park.

"We keep producing, " he said. "We keep upsetting the odds. We've got the best squad I've ever had at Wycombe, without a shadow of doubt and we'll build resilience from this. We'll dust ourselves off.

"Unfortunately, on the big occasion, Sunderland were the better side. They had that extra quality in the final third and we just came up short. Sometimes this season, we've got away with that, but today we're going to have to take that one on the chin, regroup for next year.

"I'm so proud that we amassed 83 points in League One and we can do that again, I'm sure and we'll be fine next year.

"Eight years ago, we survived at Torquay to avoid going in the National League and I think Sunderland finished 16th in the Premier League, so the progress this side has made has been phenomenal."

Ainsworth continued: "To see 23,000 Wycombe fans turn up today is just so, so, proud. It's a new club in the football league but we've got this new generation coming through where the youngsters now are proud of their club and I intend to keep going that way.

"We'll be back here and we'll have learned and we'll be stronger and motivated.

"At the end I just said how proud I was of them - how this was one moment in a season of fantastic moments . It's the defining moment for us but we'll be back and we'll be stronger for this and I promised them that this group will achieve if we stick together. I firmly believe that that group of people will achieve.

"It's lump in the throat time when you see shops with the kits in the windows and people wearing light and dark blue around the town. It never happened when I was a player. It's really fantastic for this club. It's been great seeing this new generation wearing Wycombe shirts and getting behind their team. I think we've got a very good future at this football club."

The man with the rock star looks added: "I'm a proud manager today. And I couldn't have better owners. You can have all your sheiks and your billionaires. Give me [American owners] Rob and Pete Couhig any day. I'm proud to be the Wycombe manager.

"I'm not one of those who goes chasing cash or chasing status. I'm very happy where I am and as long as people are happy with me, I'll keep doing my job and keep trying to improve this football club.

"I am that rock n roll guy. I am somebody different and I'll fly the flag for everyone that's just that little bit different."


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