IT'S not been an easy ride for supporters of Wycombe Wanderers in recent seasons.

Just three short years ago they looked to be a club on the up after celebrating winning promotion to League One in front of large, happy crowds.

Since then they have been a club on a downward spiral. They were immediately relegated again after just a single season in the higher division, and after two years of struggle they nearly suffered a second, far more catastrophic, demotion back into non-league football in May.

On top of that, financial problems caused by chasing the dream with that promotion came home to roost. Wanderers were days away from going into administration with spiralling debts and had to sell the family silver in order to keep themselves afloat.

The highly regarded youth academy – which produced a string of players who have gone on to play at a higher level – was scrapped, the training ground was sold and leased back, and the team’s manager Gareth Ainsworth hasn’t been able to pay a penny in transfer fees during his two years in charge of the club.

The number of skeletons being found in closets from those days of overspending has now reduced, but the lack of financial prudence shown in the past is still being felt around the club now.

It’s therefore of great credit to everyone now at the club that they have managed a complete transformation of their fortunes, at least on the field.

They’ve been scoring goals for fun, winning the majority of their matches while playing pleasing-on-the-eye football and now sit proudly at the top of the league table – a stark contrast to last season, when they only stayed up on the final day.

And behind the scenes the ship is gradually being steadied, although that’s a job that will take time to complete after the travails of the past few seasons.

The only negative aspect of this season is the fact that crowd numbers haven’t increased.

It's a widely held belief that winning football matches on a consistent basis is the only thing guaranteed to boost the numbers coming through the turnstiles.

For whatever reason that hasn't been the case at Adams Park this season, with gates typically around the 3,500 mark.

Nobody’s expecting 8,000 fans to suddenly start packing themselves into the stadium every matchday, but it seems curious that attendances are still similar to what they were last season when the team was struggling badly.

Wycombe Wanderers is a name suddenly on people’s lips across the country this season on account of their fantastic achievements. Several column inches have been dedicated to them and they’ve been the talk of numerous pundits debating whether they can keep up their good form and challenge for promotion. They seem to have been the talk of everywhere apart from High Wycombe itself.

The town now has a team to be proud of – and with Wasps soon to vacate Adams Park for good, Wanderers are now the team Wycombe's residents can justifiably call their own.

It’s only right that Wanderers are given the backing they deserve – they are putting Wycombe back on the map and are a source of pride for the town.