Wycombe Wanderers' 'answer to Eden Hazard', their season so far and biggest issue going into Doncaster Rovers clash

Doncaster Rovers head to Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday in search of a relegation lifeline.

By Paul Goodwin
Thursday, 31st March 2022, 3:27 pm
Updated Thursday, 31st March 2022, 3:38 pm

We spoke to James Richings, who covers the Chairboys for the Bucks Free Press, to get the lowdown on this weekend’s opponents.

Wycombe lie just outside of the play-off positions. How do you assess their season?

Since relegation from the Championship last season, Wycombe’s goal for this campaign is promotion back to the second tier.

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Anis Mehmeti. Photo: Alex Burstow/Getty Images

They have been on track to achieve this as they have been brilliant, especially at the start of the season when they blew teams away.

However, after going top in the middle of January, they went on a seven-game winless run which saw them drop out of the play-offs.

Currently, they lie in eighth and it’s going to be a challenge squeezing into the play-offs but, overall, it’s been one of Wycombe’s best seasons in recent years.

How has the club evolved since their season in the Championship and what would you say about the job Gareth Ainsworth is doing there?

Gareth Ainsworth was very loyal to the players that got him promoted to the Championship at the start of the last season, and after watching the first few games, you could tell there was a huge gulf in class between some of the clubs that went up into the second tier, to clubs that were relegated into the second tier.

In the first few matches there were times when Wycombe couldn’t even get into the opposition’s final third.

As the season went on, changes were made to shape and personnel and this ultimately led to Wycombe just missing out on survival by one point and one place.

They continued that into this season as Ainsworth is known for being unpredictable in terms of the players and formations which has worked in his favour.

He has also spoke openly about this.

This seems to give Wycombe the edge over their opponents as they can change it up from either playing it along the floor (which was seen in their 3-0 win over Cambridge) to route one football (which was seen in the 5-5 draw against Cheltenham).

What are Wycombe's strengths and weaknesses on the pitch?

In recent weeks, they have improved at the back.

Throughout March, Wanderers have kept four clean sheets in five matches after only keeping one in seven.

The boss has admitted that on some gamedays, he has called the players in for training so that they can work on set pieces, and it seems to have worked.

One thing they need to work on is putting the ball into the net.

Wanderers are not shy in having a shot at goal, and are one of the teams to have the most attempts on goal so far this season.

It’s just a case of hitting the target.

In the last three games, they have scored once but have had numerous chances to score.

If they get their shooting boots on, I think they’ll be a shoo-in for the play-offs.

Who are the players to look out for on Saturday?

One of the players to look out for is Anis Mehmeti.

The young Albanian has been a revelation since his promotion to the first team last season, and, in my opinion, he will play Premier League football at some point in his career.

The attacking midfielder has an Eden Hazard dribbling technique and he isn’t scared to take people on when he gets the ball.

He is certainly one to watch.

And of course, we need to keep an eye on Adebayo Akinfenwa.

The game against Donny is being dedicated to the ‘Big Man’ as Ainsworth calls him, so it’ll be interesting to see how he will mark the occasion.