This weekend sees the return of an all-time Lincoln great.
You voted him as your favourite player of a generation; despite playing fewer than 100 times for the club, Gareth Ainsworth is rightly revered as a legend. He just ‘got’ it – he was one of us in the Britpop era, a hero for a generation of fans who simply haven’t forgotten what he brought to the club. Even though his Wycombe side is always horrible to play against, there’s mutual respect between them and us cemented by his presence at the club.
He is regularly back here, coming to play in the recent celebrity game, and he knows plenty about the Imps. He’s warned Wycombe supporters that they’re in for a tough game this weekend.
“They’re very much under the radar, but they’ve just ticked along nicely,” Sir Gareth told the Bucks Free Press. “I’ve watched their last few games, and wow, they’re a decent side with plenty of legs on the pitch. Mark Kennedy is an ex-teammate of mine, playing at a high level in the Premier League and internationals.”
Sir Gareth played with MK at Wimbledon, where they first teamed up away at Chelsea against Gianfranco Zola, Roberto di Matteo and Gus Poyet. Perhaps neither would have predicted on that day they’d be in opposite dugouts at Sincil Bank 20-odd years later, but here they are. The Wycombe boss knows exactly what to expect as he continued his analysis of the Imps.
“I expect nothing more than a well-drilled, flowing team of good footballers. Mark is really getting something together at Lincoln. I’ll be happy to share a beer with him after the game, but hopefully, we’ve got something from Sincil Bank because it’s always a tough place to go.”
It has been a tough place for teams to come of late – Wycombe’s draw here in February was followed by defeats against the likes of Gillingham and Doncaster, but since April 9th, the Imps are undefeated at home. That means in addition to having a threat going forward, we’ve been tougher and stronger, and hopefully, that bodes well for a really tricky challenge.
As for Sir Gareth, when the whistle goes to start the game, he will just be another manager, but hopefully, he’ll enjoy a warm round of applause after the match and get his beer with Mark.