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The dilemmas facing Gareth Ainsworth after Wycombe’s play-off final defeat v Sunderland

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It was heartbreak for Wycombe Wanderers at Wembley on Sunday afternoon. 

Having snuck into the League One play-off places on the final day of the season, Gareth Ainsworth’s side were unable to make the Chairboys’ dream of a return to the second-tier a reality this time around as they were defeated 2-0 by Sunderland.

Goals from Elliot Embleton and Ross Stewart ensured it was the Black Cats that were heading for the Championship – leaving the Wycombe boss with plenty to ponder ahead of the summer.

Here, we’ve picked out some of the dilemmas facing Ainsworth following the Sunderland defeat.

Picking themselves up

One of, and possibly the biggest dilemma Gareth Ainsworth has to face is picking his side up after such a heart-breaking defeat and getting them to go again next season.

This doesn’t appear an easy task given how the teams that lost in the play-off finals fared this season.

Swansea City were defeated in the Championship play-off final and went on to finish 15th.

Lincoln City were defeated by Blackpool at Wembley in the League One play-offs last year and this season finished 17th.

Think you’re a hardcore Wycombe Wanderers fan? Try get 25/25 on this tough Chairboys quiz

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How many appearances did Matt Bloomfield make for the club?

Even though Newport County finished highest of the play-off finalists that lost in 2020/21, they still only finished 11th this season, which was still a considerable distance away from the play-ff spots.

Gareth Ainsworth must ensure his Wycombe side do not suffer a familiar fate next season.

Replacing Akinfenwa

Another big dilemma facing Gareth Ainsworth is replacing club legend Adebayo Akinfenwa, who is set to retire following the conclusion of the season.

Akinfenwa is truly unique in both his profile as a footballer, as well as his electric personality, and this will surely be a huge miss for the football club going forwards.

At 40-years-old Akinfenwa still scored a decent six goals in 38 appearances, but it is in the dressing room and around the training ground that you feel Akinfenwa will be missed the most.

As evidenced by his interviews over the years, Akinfenwa is bursting with personality and will certainly leave a big void to fill at the club this summer when he moves on.


BJTC accredited MA Multimedia Journalism graduate. Freelance Football Writer for FLW.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: The dilemmas facing Gareth Ainsworth after Wycombe’s play-off final defeat v Sunderland

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