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For those feeling optimistic
Tie 1: thurs 12 (745) and sun 15 (600)
tie 2: sat 14 (730) and weds 18 (745)
Final: MONDAY 30th 3pm
We won't be needing these.
We're only six places off the automatic promotion places and we've got a game in hand!
WE might not need them, but would be good to see who goes up with us!!!
I lke the optimism @Chris, but I can't see that coming to pass. I actually think that if we don't win against Stevenage on Saturday the best we'll be able to do is scrape into 7th and nab the last play-off entry.
Definately need a good points haul from the next three games to keep the play-offs in sight.
More realistically we must score, confidence will be returned and anything can happen I.e 3 x game winning run.
Last season our next few fixtures would have been something to relish - the further we trekked away from home the better we played, and we could of out-muscled and out-hoofballed Stevenage.
However our away form has gone downhill this year, and teams are turning up at AP with every intention of beating us at our own game.
Would be delighted with 6 points from the next 3 or 4 games - it's very tight up there.
@Uncle_T I wasn't being entirely serious. I'd be very pleased to get into the play-offs.
6pm on a Sunday? Who are these idiots who do the schedules!
I would be very happy if we went into Oxford away on the final day with something to play for. 7th would be a very decent finish.
Me too. I have no real expectations of being involved in the play offs but never say never. It's a very mediocre division this year.
Sadly I think the sun set on our season a couple of weeks ago. Our lack of goals and goalscorer caught up with us and losing PCH was the final nail.
The FA cup will be my memory for this season and we can muddle on until the end of the season with a few more quid in the coffers and ready to rock on next season.
Aren't we considerably more likely to make the play offs from the position we are in now, than from a blank slate at the start of next season? Win our game in hand and we will actually be in the play off positions.
There does seem to be a real sense among fans on here and the FB group that the play-offs are out of reach, when really, as you say, we can be in the zone with a win against Accy.
If we can nudge our way into the play-offs on the last day of the season, we will be on a real high, hopefully taking on a team who has just dropped out of the automatics. If we get Plymouth in the play-off semi final, our track record against them is good.
If we beat Oxford on the last day of the regular season, knocking them out of the autos, and then face them again the play-off semi, I'd also fancy us to have the mental edge over them.
All hypothetical I know, but if we can finish 7th I think we could very much triumph at Wembley this time round.
I am basing my comments on out total lack of attacking prowess since the turn of the year. Lets face it our shots on target have been less than most teams goals scored. I think we have done incredibly well to be in the position we are with a single top goalscorer with less than 10 to his name.
Its all very well saying if we beat... we will go up to ... but I have seen us play recently and we don't actually look like beating too many. Pragmatic not pessimistic
We've won 3 out of the last 6, 4 out of the last 8 and we've just signed a striker who looked good on his debut. I'm not saying we are favourites to get into the playoffs, but we've got a much better chance from where we are than we will next season. Back at zero points along with everyone else, with the loan rules changed, our senior players one year older and presumably no Pierre.
I've got faith in Ainsworth to recruit well over the summer - he has done in the last two years after all. But to get into the playoffs will be a very tough ask.
Play-offs are still realistic. The good thing is we have been mediocre recently and yet are still in with a shout. We could do with a few more draws instead of losses, but it's not like we are getting stuffed every week...a lot of games have been settled by a single goal either way. If Liburd goes on a run who knows?
You're just setting yourself up for disappointment @Chris. I go into every game fully expecting us to be shit and get beaten and I've never come away disappointed.
@chris - if you are correct in your suggestion that we will have less of a chance next season to get into the playoffs, the inference is that the five year plan for steady progress is not working and, more disturbingly, that we would not be good enough to stay in League 1 if we did somehow go up via the playoffs.
Perhaps you have in mind that a playoff campaign would boost the finances whilst merely securing our position as a solid mid-table League 2 club?
@Chris I meant.
You are quite right, I don't believe that there is any value in a five year plan for Wycombe. Everything is reset each season, the budget remains the same. Why should there be incremental gains each year? I just don't see what the driver is, what is the thing that changes that is supposed to get us more points every season? I think five year plans are just spin.
I think we should try our best to go up every year, that's the point of football. And (although it's happened to us twice fairly recently) I don't think teams that go up are that likely to come back down, just based on the numbers of teams that stay in the division v the number of relegation spots. But even if we do go down, so what, we're in the same place as we would be if we hadn't got promotion. Financially the biggest risk to Wycombe Wanderers is relegation from League 2. If we get promoted to League 1, then we negate that risk for at least a season.
I don't see what's wrong with just plugging away, doing the best we can each season. If we go up, good. The three major issues I see are a) relegation out of the league, b) financial unsustainability, and c) the changes to the loan system. As others have said it's worrying that we seem to have money issues this year considering the cup run and sale of Matt Ingram. If we have to cut back expenditure because we can't replicate that income next season, what have we got to cut? And our model relies heavily on loan players, so I can see us struggling next year. Does this mean we will we be forced to take more players into the squad as we can't bring in emergency cover? What impact will this have on our finances? A lot of teams seem to rely on loans but not many teams have as little cover as us, so this will affect us disproportionately.
Great post Chris!
The change in the loan system is interesting. Its widely accepted that U21 football is not effective in player development so PL clubs will be keen to get their talent out for longer periods rather than stagnating in the academy system at a crucial time in their development.
This will lead to a cattle market in transfer windows and I think we are well-placed to take some decent talent on. We have the now well publicised house. We have a record of player enhancement. We have a paper thin squad ensuring that we can offer players game time.
The key to it really is getting our shopping right at the right time. Something we have largely done well with based on good research.
We rely on loans for flexibility outside of the transfer windows. I agree we seem to have a positive reputation for developing players, which is good, but I think the lack of flexibility under the new system means we are going to have to go with a bigger squad. There'll be wages to pay either way, 'Wycombe players' or long-term loanees, and likely to be of a lower standard (and less tailored to the circumstances of the season as they develop) than loanees we could have picked up during the season pre-rules change.
I'm not sure what's happening with the loan keeper rules, but if they are changing too then we'll need more keepers on our books.
On the subject of keepers @Chris ....
This Man Utd keeper has just started following wwfc and Barry Richardson on twitter.
"Outgoing goalkeeper? Could be nothing, but Dean Henderson - who was on loan at Stockport until he was recalled by United - has started following League Two side Wycombe Wanderers."
That's an interesting one. We don't seem to need him this year, but maybe next year?
@Chris There are three things that we can confidently predict about next season: 1) we won't have huge amounts of spare dosh 2) we have a very big proportion of our squad out of contract this summer 3) we won't be able to get emergency loans.
I'd say those things - combined with the hints dropped in the announcement about the so-called youth team - mean that a lot of the senior squad will not be offered new contracts. Instead I suspect it's likely we'll be signing a lot of younger, energetic and cheaper players in their place.
I'm increasingly confident we won't see Paul Hayes back here next season. Let's say, for the sake of argument, he's on £75k a year. Given the circumstances we find ourselves in, is it better to have one misfiring, injury-prone and increasingly slow Paul Hayes, or three unproven, rough round the edges and inexperienced young whippersnappers on £25k each; with ideally one of whom proving to be a great find and the other two filling the squad? Just in terms of potential sell-on value alone it's a no-brainer. Yes, we'll lose Hayes's guile, leadership and experience. But given Thompson's signed up for another year, that's a loss I bet the club will be willing to swallow.
I predict we'll have a 22-24 man squad next season with one of the youngest average ages in the pyramid. I imagine almost every signing we make will be from development teams of the top two divisions, including season-long loans of some of the more promising youth teamers from the premiership. All the players will be selected for their energy, enthusiasm and adaptability. The GPS trackers Ainsworth makes them wear will provide the stat that matters most - how far they've run each match. If they don't exert themselves, or when they get exhausted, there will be another youngster waiting in the wings to step into their shoes.
I think next year will be quite exciting. But it'll be a big experiment for the club. And one I suspect they'd prefer to try out in League Two rather than League One.
There's a lot of season to go yet before Hayes future is determined.
As to which league 'they' would rather be in, Ainsworth would undoubtedly want a promotion on his CV, as I'm sure would the players. And I doubt very much that Andrew Howard or the Trust would turn down promotion if offered it, even if simply to get further from the trapdoor into the Conference.
Interesting post aloysius (and Chris). I would imagine that most of the usual suspects will be offered new contracts (maybe on lower terms in some cases) as our one major strength appears to be team spirit. Bringing in a new younger and hungrier squad may indeed be more exciting but as you note it would be something of an experiment that could go horribly wrong.
We seem to have established ourselves as a 6th to 12th placed Leagur Two side, which is a good base to build on with some tinkering rather than wholesale changes. I thing the new youth set up (whatever form it takes) will be designed to cater for providing emergency cover with only a slightly expanded first team squad
Interesting with the United keeper.
Very usual of players to follow high profile teams or players, but not a very small team, 180 miles away from where he's based!
If we lose against Bristol Rovers at Wembley I don't think I'll be able to take it.
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