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Gareth Ainsworth backs Wycombe to avoid relegation

Gareth Ainsworth file photo
(Image credit: Andrew Matthews)

Wycombe manager Gareth Ainsworth is convinced his promoted side have got what it takes to stay up despite suffering a seventh successive defeat after going down 2-1 to 10-man Norwich at Carrow Road.

The battling Chairboys were within a few minutes of claiming their first point of the season, only to be thwarted by a superb stoppage-time free-kick from City substitute Mario Vrancic.

They had gone behind after just three minutes when Teemu Pukki scored his second goal of the campaign but hit back quickly through Scott Kashket and then proceeded to give an excellent account of themselves.

They created some good chances, had a good shout for a penalty turned down when Ben Gibson appeared to haul down Fred Onyedinma and then put their bodies on the line to keep the Canaries out as they piled on the pressure in the second half.

It was not quite enough in the end but Ainsworth said: “People might be surprised to hear me say this after losing our first seven games but I have no doubt we have got a team good enough to stay up this season. If they continue to play like they did today they will certainly do that.

“We were up against a very good Norwich side, who were playing in the Premier League last season, and gave an excellent account of ourselves.

“We’ve created chances, defended really well and should have had a penalty at 1-1 when Ben Gibson pulled down Fred Onyedinma in the area. That was also a potential red card and I can’t believe it wasn’t given.

“But little old Wycombe don’t seem to be getting decisions like that at the moment and hopefully that will change soon.

“I feel very sorry for the lads right now because that was a really good performance and we certainly deserved to take something from the game.

“You can’t take anything away from their winning goal – it was a brilliant free-kick – but to come away empty handed is really hard to take.”

Wycombe’s search for a first point at second-tier level continues against another relegated side Watford in midweek and Ainsworth says his troops are well up for that one too.

He added: “It’s been a tough start but the players are learning all the time and we really should have taken something from our last three games.

“Now we need to move on to the Watford game and if we maintain the standards we showed today hopefully we will get our reward.”

Norwich boss Daniel Farke was thrilled to see his side pick up a third straight win, all achieved with late goals.

He said: “I thought we started fantastically well, we got our goal and really should have put the game to bed in the first 15 minutes.

“But then we perhaps got over confident and our passing was not so good. But we kept going and finally got the win that I think we deserved. That’s football – sometimes you just have to find a way to win a game and we did that.

“Full credit to Wycombe, they defended really well and made it difficult for us but with this team I always have a lot of confidence we will get a late goal and Mario has done it for us again.

“Winning can become a habit and now it’s important we keep the run going because it has been a really good run after a tough start to the season.”

On match-winner Vrancic, who also came off the bench to net a late clincher against Birmingham in midweek, Farke added: “Mario is a real talisman for us.

“I can always count on him to show his quality and maybe change the game. He did this a number of times in our Championship-winning season and now he has done it again by scoring two very important goals.”