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Ainsworth turns to former mentor for a favour
WANDERERS' fate lies partly in the hands of the manager the club sacked last season.
Even if Blues beat Torquay tomorrow their efforts will count for nothing if either Bristol Rovers or Northampton Town secure at least a point.
The Cobblers are the closest side in Wanderers' sights, having a worse goal difference than Rovers, and they end their campaign against Oxford United.
Town boss Chris Wilder left the U's to take up his current post and will no doubt have a point to prove against his former side.
But in another twist United are now managed by Gary Waddock - the man who was sacked by Wanderers to make way for current incumbent Gareth Ainsworth.
Waddock brought him to Adams Park as a player in the first place, having been his manager at QPR, and Ainsworth still refers to him as gaffer.
And now the apprentice is hoping for help from the former master in Wanderers' bid to save themselves them the drop.
Ainsworth said: "We have spoken this week. We speak a lot anyway. I said, 'I need you quite a bit this week gaffer'.
"It was tongue in cheek but he knows how big it is for me. That shouldn't make a difference on how he'll approach the game."
Waddock, who was relegated twice as Blues boss but also secured the club a promotion from League Two, has endured a tough start to his career at the Kassam Stadium.
Before Wilder's departure Oxford were in the chase for an automatic promotion slot, but by the time Waddock arrived hopes of even a play off place were slipping.
Six defeats in Waddock's first seven matches in charge have killed off their hopes of promotion, with the former Wanderers boss this week hitting out at what he called the U's losing culture.
But Ainsworth said: "Gary Waddock is a total professional and he will want to win every game. It doesn't matter if it's the last or the first game.
"I remember when we were relegated the first season he was here, we took on Gillingham last game of the season at home. We had nothing to play for but we went out there, performed fantastically and we won 3-0, bringing Gillingham down with us. That epitomises Gary - he will fight to the end.
"He's had a rough time at Oxford so he'll want to win."
He said it was a similar situation with Mansfield Town, who provide Bristol Rovers' final opposition a week after being beaten at home by Torquay.
Ainsworth said: "There's pride in Paul Cox - he'll want to win, you don't want to end the season on a loss. You've got three months before the next league game and you don't want your last game to be a defeat - I know I wouldn't. I'll be doing everything for a win and I'm sure both of those teams will as well.
"We need a favour but I think professional pride comes into it as well. They'll want to win, not for Wycombe Wanderers but for Mansfield and for Oxford."
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