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Ainsworth hails warriors after Blues pull off cup shock
JUBILANT Wanderers boss Gareth Ainsworth said some of his side's play against Portsmouth 'beggared belief' as Blues pulled off a cup shock.
The caretaker boss - surely now a shoe-in for the full-time role - said he was lost for words as Wanderers beat a side who were in the top flight just three seasons ago on their own patch.
At the start of his press conference Ainsworth said there were "no individuals" as he praised the entire Blues team for turning over Pompey 3-1 in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy.
But such was the outstanding level of performance from Blues, the 39-year-old couldn't help himself but point out how superb some of his team had been.
Ainsworth said: "It beggars belief they went out there and defended the way they did. Some of the last ditch defending was fantastic.
"Charles Dunne was in park football three years ago and he's come on leaps and bounds. Dave Winfield was outstanding tonight - a warrior. Best performance I've seen from him for a long time.
"Joel Grant's having a great season, he's a great player and he's proved that with that finish.
"I'm so pleased, so proud of them - I'm lost for words. These boys don't realise what they can achieve."
The transformation of the side in the space of a few short weeks has been remarkable as players are now showing a willingness to die for the cause that wasn't there during some less-than-passionate displays earlier in the campaign.
And that's a reflection on Ainsworth, as the temporary manager demands his players mirror his relentless style of play.
He said: "I was never gifted with a great amount of skill like some of these players have got, but I have a heart as big as a lion. I'll keep going and I'll never give up. I want to give that to the boys.
"That's the first thing we do, we win our battles, our headers - we win everything, we fight, we scrap for every last piece of that ball we can get. When we've got it, then we can play."
Last night's cup tie was the first time Ainsworth hasn't been involved in the playing squad since taking the reins and the winger admitted it was frustrating not being on the pitch to influence things.
He said: "You want to get out there. Dobbo [assistant manager Richard Dobson] said you jump on every header, you kick every ball. Lee Harrison said 'I think you did more miles than any of the players on the touchline'. I'm passionate, I want to be out there with the boys and get involved.
"I might have some down time tomorrow, have a lie in and chill out. I don't think I'll be able to sleep tonight."