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Ainsworth: That was more like the Wanderers of old
WANDERERS boss Gareth Ainsworth felt his side’s performance in the draw at Morecambe was reminiscent of the type of display that got good results early on in the season.
Blues put together a run of four successive wins earlier in the campaign to rise to within touching distance of the League Two summit, but a run of one win in 12 has seen them drop down the table.
They looked to be on course for only their second victory in the last dozen thanks to Paris Cowan-Hall’s first half header, only to be pegged back by a Kevin Ellison equaliser.
Wanderers had been much the better side, having controlled the first half with ease, and they could still have gone on to win the game as Morecambe skipper Mark Hughes made goalline clearances from Josh Scowen and Jo Kuffour after the leveller.
Ainsworth was pleased at the contrast from last week’s drab defeat by AFC Wimbledon following a team meeting on Sunday, saying his side had gone back to basics and remembered what brought them success earlier in the campaign.
But he once again admitted to being disappointed at Blues’ profligacy in front of goal – a common message that has seen Wanderers drop too many points this season.
The Blues boss said: “It was a superb performance. I got a reaction from last week. We said what we were going to do – it’s alright saying it but to back it up is something different, and we backed it up today. I thought we were to a man the better side.
“The fans will realise we are back and gunning for the way we were at the start of the season. We are going to get those performances week in, week out now. For me, that will be enough to beat many teams in this league.
“Coming to Morecambe on an horrendous pitch – but I’m glad the game went ahead, the referee has done fantastically there – I think we’ve done well to get a point. Not many come here and get something. We could have nicked it at the end, we had two cleared off the line in the last five minutes.
“We’ve conceded one shot on our goal. Matt’s had one shot, he didn’t get there but it wasn’t his fault.
“We had a few things in the final third where the quality could have been that bit better, but we’re building.
“I’m very pleased with what I’ve seen today, and I’ll take that into Oxford next week without a shadow of a doubt.”
Key to Wanderers’ success was an industrious display from the midfield, with the bustling Stuart Lewis and Josh Scowen ably supported on the flanks by goalscorer Cowan-Hall and Matt Bloomfield, who impressed despite playing out of position on the left.
Ainsworth said: “The midfielders were big talkers in the meeting last Sunday. They had to put their words into plan on the pitch and they did it. They said they want to get back to where we were. We probably tried to take too many steps forward, and now we’ve come back to the way we were playing earlier on in the season and last season. It’s a real in-your-face game, hard to beat, and I thought the midfield was superb.”
He added: “The bottom of the league is becoming very concertinaed and our games in hand are going to be very crucial. It could take us well away from things, and they are the ones we want to win.”
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