Relegated Championship boss fires League One warning to Portsmouth, Ipswich and Charlton ahead of next season

Gareth Ainsworth is determined to guide Wycombe to an immediate return back to the Championship next season.

Thursday, 20th May 2021, 12:30 pm

The Chairboys reached the second tier for the first time in the club's history via the play-offs last year – with Pompey suffering semi-final heartbreak against beaten finalists Oxford.

However, the Adams Park side couldn't retain their Championship status this term, despite delivering an impressive 3-0 win at Middlesbrough on the final day.

It means Wycombe are preparing for the 2021-22 campaign back in League One where they'll have the likes of Pompey, Charlton, Ipswich, Sheffield Wednesday, Rotherham and the three beaten play-off sides to compete with for promotion.

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And speaking to the EFL podcast, Ainsworth reckons the nous he and his troops learnt playing big-hitters such as Norwich, Watford and Bournemouth will give them a big advantage.

He said: ‘After 46 games you are where you deserve to be, and ultimately we were just a couple of points away from staying up. But I always gave my best so I can't really look back and say I should've changed this player or these tactics.

‘There was no R next to our name until the final kick of the final game of the season and we can take pride from that. The efforts from everyone were great.

‘I'm gutted that the fans couldn't see Championship football, but it's my job to get us back there.

Wycombe Wanderers manager Gareth Ainsworth. Picture: Joe Pepler

‘As we came off at the Riverside Stadium (after the final game at Middlesbrough), the feeling was real excitement for next season. We'd taken Middlesbrough to the cleaners.

‘We're a much better team than we were at the start of the season. We learned a lot, we started slow but finished like a train. With one more game, we might have survived.

‘The fans coming back is something I'm so excited about. I wake up every single morning and tell myself how lucky I am.

‘I'm a football manager, I've played football all my life, and soon we're going to have the fans back in the ground, right behind us again.’