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Gaz reflects on first year in the hotseat
GARETH Ainsworth said dropping to the foot of the Football League ladder has made him a better manager, as he reflected on his first year in charge of Wanderers.
The 40-year-old was handed the managerial reins on a caretaker basis on September 24 last year in the wake of Gary Waddock's sacking, before a permanent appointment followed later.
But the first few months for the new gaffer were tough and a November defeat at Northampton Town saw Blues become the worst team in the league.
Since then Ainsworth has turned things around and the Chairboys currently sit in a healthy sixth position in the table - and he said it was those dark days last year that helped him get the club where they are now.
He said: "I learnt a lot about how to handle things. I learnt a lot on how to be after that sort of defeat. Not every manager's had 92nd position in the Football League on their CV and I think it's a strength. I don't think it's a weakness at all, it's made me a stronger manager and a stronger person.
"I learnt more being 92nd in the Football League than any other game. It really taught me there's a lot of work to do and the way I should be as well - not just tactics and management, but as a person. It was probably the toughest time but one of the most fruitful times because I learnt a lot about myself.
"After one year in charge, whatever happens I'll never forget this year and I'll never forget my first year in management.
"I want to say thank you to the Trust for putting their trust in me, all the players for doing what I ask and winning for me, and my staff. Lee [Harrison] and Richard [Dobson] have been absolutely amazing rocks for me - I couldn't have asked for two better staff.
"Lastly the fans have been fantastic. The togetherness we've got and the bridges we've built have been just amazing."
Ainsworth said: "It's been a real baptism of fire. It's gone quicker than any season as a player, it's gone so fast it's a joke.
"The workload has been crazy, even more work than I expected. The hours do mount up but I've never shirked hard work and I'm not going to start now.
"I wouldn't have it any other way. I wake up every day absolutely buzzing and looking forward to going to work.
"Hopefully there's another year to come, then another and another year after that because that's where I aim to go. I want to stay in management a long time. If I'm staying at Wycombe Wanderers that means we'll be successful and that means the whole of Wycombe's successful."
He joked: "We've got a better squad than when I took over - mostly because I've retired now."
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