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Gareth Ainsworth hails debutant Admiral Muskwe as Wycombe sail into fourth round

Cheltenham Town v Leicester City – Pre-Season Friendly – Jonny-Rocks Stadium
(Image credit: Nick Potts)

Wycombe manager Gareth Ainsworth was delighted with debutant Admiral Muskwe’s performance as his side dispatched Preston 4-1 in the FA Cup third round.

The Chairboys boss led his side to the fourth round of the competition for just the third time in their history, with three goals in the first 25 minutes setting them on their way.

Muskwe, who arrived on loan from Leicester this week, set up Fred Onyedinma for the first, before Joe Jacobson and Josh Knight found the net, while Emil Riis’ penalty pulled one back just short of the break.

Alex Samuel wrapped up the win late on for Ainsworth’s side, in a performance that left the Wycombe boss purring at the full-time whistle.

“I’m really proud of the performance. Some boys who haven’t been playing came in, showed what they can do, and there’s a team selection headache for the next game now,” Ainsworth said.

“We have to go out there and find these unpolished gems, and Admiral is certainly one of them. I thought he had a really assured performance today, his energy levels were brilliant.

“He could have scored, I think he’s disappointed he hasn’t scored, but he’s assisted one, been a constant threat and been superb.

“I’m a big believer in the FA Cup, I’ll treat it with the utmost respect, and hopefully we can have a nice cup run.”

North End were punished for a slow start in Buckinghamshire, with Onyedinma putting them on the back foot as early as the third minute, when he latched on to Muskwe’s inch-perfect cross.

The deficit was doubled when Josh Earl brought Uche Ikpeazu down six minutes minutes later, with Jacobson dispatching the resultant penalty before Knight made it three soon after.

Riis scored from the spot before the break, but Samuel rounded off the scoring late on, as the visitors exited the competition at the first hurdle for the third consecutive year, with manager Alex Neil left to relay some home truths post-match.

“To be honest, the game was done after 30 minutes,” Neil said.

“We spoke about stopping crosses, we don’t stop a cross in the first three minutes of the game.

“We spoke about not getting too tight to Ikpeazu, we knew what was coming, and after eight minutes we get too tight and he gets a penalty.

“And then again, a 40-yard ball into the box, we lose the first header, drop the runner, and then don’t pick someone up in the box.

“The simple fact is we gave opportunities to players who haven’t been playing of late, and people ask why they haven’t been playing, and I think it was quite clear today.

“They shouldn’t have any complaints if they’re not in the team for a long time.”