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The numbers add up for Gareth Ainsworth ahead of Wycombe’s trip to Tottenham

Jonathan Veal, PA
·3 min read

Wycombe boss Gareth Ainsworth has confirmed he has enough players to fulfil his side’s FA Cup fourth-round tie with Tottenham.

The Chairboys have not played for the last two weeks due to a coronavirus outbreak, seeing last weekend’s Championship clash with QPR called off, while Tuesday’s game against Sheffield Wednesday would also have been wiped out had it not already been postponed due to an outbreak in the Owls’ camp.

The squad only returned to training on Thursday and Ainsworth did not reveal details of how many of his players were affected by the virus, but said he will have to assess a couple of them before Monday night’s game.

“I am not allowed to give numbers due to medical confidentiality, there were enough to satisfy the EFL that there was a risk of contaminating more people at Wycombe and also going to play other teams and contaminating other teams, so that was a risk we were not prepared to take,” he said.

“The EFL were happy with that, I am sure there is going to be an investigation as there should be with all teams. My medical staff were fantastic with the procedure they have put in place and how we do it for a small club.

“We are all healthy, there are one or two we will have to look at because of the Covid situation. Although a lot of them are asymptomatic, one or two who do have symptoms you have to be careful and then there is also screening and some fatigue issues.

“We will be diligent on that. We will be ready for this, we are confident we have got more than enough to fulfil fixtures.

There has been a coronavirus outbreak at Wycombe over the last 10 days
There has been a coronavirus outbreak at Wycombe over the last 10 days (Bradley Collyer/PA)

“Tomorrow is the FA round of testing for us. We have to fulfil that, they will come back with the results. As long as you have got 14 fit you have to play these games and I am 100 per cent sure we will have that. Out of 30 players I think I will have high-20s.”

Wycombe almost knocked Spurs out of the FA Cup at the same stage four years ago, when as a League Two club they were leading 3-2 at White Hart Lane until the 89th minute, before Dele Alli and Son Heung-min goals rescued Spurs.

This will be Spurs’ first ever visit to Adams Park and Ainsworth said it will be a special night.

“It is a huge tie for Wycombe Wanderers,” he said. “To host Tottenham Hotspur at Adams Park, of course it is special. Wow, Jose Mourinho, Tottenham Hotspur, so looking forward to it and want to give a really good account of ourselves.

“We were the last team to score three away goals at White Hart Lane, and that is a real privilege for Wycombe Wanderers.

“We were close that day, we didn’t quite finish the job but there were some big hitters on the pitch at the end.

“I think it will be a really strong Tottenham team because Jose Mourinho is a winner, he wants to win trophies.

“I am a massive fan of him because he is a winner. He is different and I can relate to that slightly, I have got my knockers because of the way I am and the way I will always be.

“Mourinho is different and that scares people. People want the norm and the norm will never be for me.”