Gareth Ainsworth said he was extremely proud of the countless achievements of the club’s development program, with Anis Mehmeti and Chris Forino having recently been awarded new contracts, and teenager Ali Al-Hamadi got his first call in the club. team of the day last weekend.
The Blues boss watched a Chairboys XI triumph 5-0 against a local academy team midweek and said the performance in that game proved the team’s strength at depth, which could be called upon in the event injuries or illnesses.
“Part of our identity is to give young people a chance,” he told reporters Thursday morning. âIt was great to see the way they played on Tuesday in the practice match. It also allowed us to give minutes to players like Daryl (Horgan) and Sullay (Kaikai) who have been on the sidelines these last. time, and of course they would like more time in the first team, they understand why that was the case because we had a good race.
âDaryl ran the show from the midfield, Sullay scored a great free kick, and it was good to see Ali, Tjay (De Barr) and Jack (Wakely) all on the scoresheet too. Tjay and Ali are pushing really hard for a place on the squad and we’d love to get them into the 18s, but there’s a lot of competition throughout the squad.
“We’re seeing real progress from this development group, and they’re all putting themselves as part of the first team. The club as a whole is moving forward and I’m proud of Sam Grace and Matt Bloomfield for what they’ve got. done. we’re doing to develop these young guys. We’ve got a real talent belly here and with the pandemic escalating again, you never know who might be available, so everyone has to be prepared. “
Team strength is still a hot topic of debate as the January transfer window approaches just after the holiday season, but Ainsworth doesn’t expect much business as the Blues look to maintain. consistency with the current Chairboys crop in place.
“We have a few goals, but I don’t think we’ll lose anyone unless a ridiculous offer comes through,” he said. âWe’re determined to keep the team as strong as possible, and we want to keep everyone together and aim for a promotion.
“We are stealing at just under two points per game and if you keep that up the whole season you tend to get promoted. We want to stay consistent, keep our values ââand our identity, and the boys believe they can win. every game when they cross that white line. “
Then Bolton Wanderers – for the second time in a month – with the Chairboys visiting the North West in search of their first league double of the season, but Ainsworth knows how to expect a tough test after narrowly defeating the “Other” Wanderers 1- 0 at Adams Park in November.
“We are five undefeated now and it would be nice to turn some draws into wins to keep us strong,” he said. “Bolton will be a tough game – they have a good team like we saw when they came to us. We have a few players available again after the illness and we want to go there with the strongest team possible to pitch. Christmas time with a win and to give us momentum for the three games on Boxing Day and the New Year. “