Gareth Ainsworth was full of praise for Chris Forino after the young centre back put in another great shift in for Wycombe Wanderers.

The 21-year-old, who gave up a place at Loughborough University to sign for the Chairboys last April, was named as the man of the match following the goalless draw at home to Shrewsbury. on February 8.

This is his second MOTM accolade of the season, as he was named the team’s best player when Wycombe defeated Burton Albion 2-1 just before Christmas, which happened to be his Football League debut.

Speaking after the draw at Adams Park, Ainsworth said of the defender: “Chris Forino came in and he is becoming this player that I am really excited to see, but it was a case of everything but the goal and that happens sometimes.

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“He is an all-round player that hasn’t been touched in his younger years.

“He is a raw, what you see is what you get, type of defender, is Chris Forino.

“He just loves defending.

“I think he has got more steps in him for the Championship and Premier League as I think he has a great chance, as well as Mehmeti and people like that.

“I am very happy that the development squad is paying off.

“I can’t thank the Couhigs enough for giving me these resources and I am to pay then back with a high finish.”

Since making is professional debut in the 3-1 home loss in the Papa John's Trophy fixture against the Aston Villa Under 21s back in August, Forino has slowly crept into the first team, before getting his chance in the autumn.

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With injuries to Anthony Stewart and Ryan Tafazolli in between November and the start of January, the centre back was drafted into the side and has since played eight times since his debut in the summer.

In fact, in his five league appearances so far this campaign, he has been awarded with two MOTM awards, as well as securing two clean sheets.

And even though he is the talk of the town, the defender remained modest since becoming a first-team regular.

Speaking after the draw, Forino said: “I set myself a target by January to be involved in the matchday squad once, which included being on the bench and I am very happy with the way the season has gone.

"I wasn’t expecting this.

“I was at university for seven months but I dropped out when I had my trial about a year ago, and I said, whether I get in or not, I am going to chase the footballing dream at 20.

“It was a brave decision and I do not regret it one bit.

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And on his plans for the rest of the season, he said: “First and foremost, it is to be promoted and if I don’t play again if it means getting promoted, then I would take that.

“But for me, personally, I would like to get into double digits now.

“The boys have been chomping at the bit to get out and back on the pitch as they want to play games to put things right, but I think we needed that break as it’s a long season, we need to look at things but we are in a good position.”

And on Gareth Ainsworth, he concluded: “He has taken a gamble on me, he works closely with me to get to the levels I need to be at and he is a great guy as well.”