Gareth Ainsworth has called the centre midfielder position ‘cursed’ after Jason McCarthy picked up an injury in the 1-0 home defeat against Stoke City.

The 25-year-old, who was making his 100th appearance for the Chairboys in his fourth spell at the club, came off just before the hour mark after picking up a possible shoulder injury following a scrap in the Wycombe box.

It was only his third match of the season and his first since the 2-0 home loss to Swansea City on September 26.

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Speaking after the match, Ainsworth said: “That position is cursed (centre midfield).

“Dominic Gape, Curtis Thompson and now Jason McCarthy.

“Three big players who can all play in that position are now carrying injuries with two of them being shoulder injuries.

“I think his [McCarthy’s] shoulder may have popped out so we will have a look at that, but if it has popped out, it’ll be popped back in so I don’t think it will be too bad.

“Jason McCarthy is a tough nut, and I am sure he will be putting himself up for selection pretty soon.”

The loss against Michael O’Neill’s men was Wycombe’s first in eight matches yet it could have been a different story if the Chairboys had their shooting boots on.

David Wheeler hit the post after five minutes with a glancing header, whilst Daryl Horgan had two fine attempts at goal, but one was saved by Josef Bursik with the other going just over.

And even though the Chairboys could call themselves unlucky with some of the refereeing decisions that went against them, Ainsworth was a happy man at Adams Park.

He continued: “There were some serious decisions that the referee had to make.

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“There was a potential red on Fred, there was a handball near the end which could have been a penalty, and Jason McCarthy gets dumped WWF style and has come off injured, and the boy who did that scored the goal.

“So, there are all these twists and turns but I am really proud of them.

“David Wheeler played in every position on the pitch, Garath McCleary made a huge impact, Fred looks back to his best and Daryl Horgan was busy.

“So, I think we have made strides tonight which sounds ridiculous [as we lost].

“I am proud of everyone.

“I said to the boys, two months ago we were sat in a dressing room at Blackburn Rovers worrying about how we were going to compete and what we were going to do.

“And you look at tonight [against Stoke], we have proved that we can compete with big physical outfits.”

READ MORE: Wycombe to play Preston in the third round of the FA Cup

Up next for Wycombe is an away trip to Preston North End on Saturday, December 5 – one month before facing the Lancashire side again but in the FA Cup.