Wycombe manager Gareth Ainsworth has admitted that he wasn’t ready to be a manager when he was given the opportunity.

The 47-year-old opened up about his first managerial gig at QPR back in the 2008/09 season, when he was made caretaker following the sacking of Iain Dowie.

During his spell in charge of the Loftus Road side, he reminisced about the time his QPR team went up against Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United, with the two sharing a drink after the match.

Talking on the ‘I Had Trials Once’ podcast, he said: “I was manager at QPR when we faced Man United and Alex Ferguson in the in the third round of the League Cup.

“It was only 1-0 [to United] and I had a drink with Alex Ferguson afterwards and it was it was a great experience.”

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Ainsworth also revealed that he feared his job was ‘under fire’ at the beginning of his reign at Adams Park.

He continued: “I wasn’t ready to be a manager.

“I didn’t want to be a Championship manager.

“I went back to being a player for one year and half way through that season Wycombe came in for me. I was 37.

“They made me captain. We got promoted but we went down the next season.

“And then eight games into that season, Gary Waddock, who is a close friend, and is still a close friend, got sacked.

“And they said: ‘Gareth’s nearly 40.

“He’s done a little bit at QPR.

“We’ll give him the caretaker manager’s job and eight years later and I’m still here.”

He said: “I totally feared for my job.

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“That season we went 17 without a win.

“Now you tell me what manager nowadays and who’d have 17 games without a win and not get sacked.

“I don’t think they had the cash, I wasn’t on a lot of money but I don’t still think they had the cash to go ‘let’s sack the manager and get a new one.’

“And then that summer I thought you can either bumble along again and you’re bound to get sacked or you better make big changes.

“I was a tracksuit manager for my first 18 months.

“Now I wear a shirt and trousers.

“I’d made so many new signings.

“They didn’t really know me as the tracksuit manager apart from Matt Bloomfield who’s been here years.

“They were calling me Gaz in that first 18 months.

“So, I said: ‘right it’s gaffer’.

“I felt a little bit awkward saying that but I had to make a change.

“And Matt Bloomfield went: ‘Right, gaffer. Yeah, quality’.

“He made it easy for me.

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“I can’t thank him enough because, he the club captain, and the rest of the players followed.

“I think my fear factor now is based on long-term selection, and I think the lads fear not playing and that’s the way it should be.

“They know that I’ll go you’re cut.

“But I always give them a chance.

“My fear factor is that being in the team now is a huge thing.

“I get players who care.

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“I sign players who care because the ones who don’t care are not scared of being dropped.”

During his playing career, Ainsworth had spells at Northwich Victoria, Preston, Cambridge, Lincoln, Port Vale, Walsall, Cardiff City, QPR, Wycombe and Wimbledon, where he scored in the Premier League with the latter.

He is also currently the EFL’s longest serving manager, as he has been in charge of the club since since September 2012.

Prior to this, he was a player at Wycombe for three seasons where he played 118 games for the Chairboys.