Gareth Ainsworth says Wycombe's FA Cup win over Preston North End was not a revenge mission

Gareth Ainsworth didn’t want Wycombe’s FA Cup win over Preston North End to be viewed as any sort of revenge mission for events three years ago.

Sunday, 10th January 2021, 12:30 pm
Wycombe Wanderers manager Gareth Ainsworth watches his side's FA Cup win over Preston North End from the technical area

In January 2018, North End beat the Chairboys 5-1 at the same stage of the competition.

Ainsworth’s men turned the tables at Adams Park on Saturday, winning 4-1 to book a place in the fourth round.

Wycombe were a League Two side when PNE beat them in 2018, the progress they have made since then in reaching the Championship being what Ainsworth preferred to reflect on post-match.

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Gareth Ainsworth and Alex Neil on the touchline at Adams Park

Ainsworth, who played 111 games for the Lilywhites in three spells, said: “People will probably draw that in comparison but I think it just shows how far we have come in those three years.

“Preston are a superb outfit and they have a great manager in Alex Neil.

“Three years ago they tore us to pieces, Daryl Horgan who is with me now was part of the Preston side which ripped us to shreds.

“We can show how far we have come, I don’t want any comparisons made, don’t want this to be that we got them back – it’s just not that.

“It is let’s see how far Wycombe have come, I’m so proud of us.

“Alex Neil puts good teams together, he is a good manager and has managed at the top level.

“I have got a lot of respect for him, so to beat one of Alex’s teams is a proud moment for me.”

Wycombe was so deserving of their victory, 3-0 up inside 25 minutes with their attacking play too much for the North End defence.

Emil Riis scored PNE’s goal from the penalty spot just before half-time having been fouled by keeper Ryan Allsop.

The hosts scored their fourth goal eight minutes from time and only the width of the post denied Horgan scoring a fifth and matching the scoreline from 2018.

This was the only the third time in Wycombe’s history that they had made it past the third round, although in 2001 they did famously reach the semi-finals.

Ainsworth said: “Normally we have to fight and scrap in all sorts of games just to reach the third round. Because of our Championship status we get into the third round automatically which was nice.

“Let’s see how we get on in the fourth round.”

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