Meet the opposition | Wycombe Wanderers
As Swansea City prepare to take on Wycombe Wanderers at the Liberty Stadium, we take a closer look at the form and history of the Chairboys.
What’s their story?
Wycombe are approaching the end of their first-ever Championship campaign after Gareth Ainsworth led them to League One play-off glory with victory over Oxford at Wembley in July 2020.
Formed in 1887, Wycombe have spent the vast majority of their history outside of the football league, spending 64-consecutive years in the Isthmian League before accepting invitation to the Conference – after rejecting numerous previous invites – in 1987.
Martin O’Neill guided them to the Football League in 1993, and secured immediate promotion to the third tier a year later.
They were FA Cup semi-finalists in 2001 and League Cup semi-finalists in 2007, but survived relegation out of the Football League in 2014 before reviving their fortunes under Ainsworth.
How’s their form?
On the up. Wycombe have endured a number of challenging runs this season, but have shown great resolve.
They are enjoying their best sequence of the season with 10 points taken from their last six games, including wins over Preston, Blackburn and Rotherham.
That has left them nine points adrift of safety with five games remaining and everything still to fight for.
Who’s the boss?
Gareth Ainsworth. The 47-year-old is the longest-serving manager in the EFL having taken the reins at Adams Park back in 2012.
A winger in his playing days, Ainsworth played in the Premier League for Wimbledon in a long career that also included spells with Northwich Victoria, Preston, Cambridge, Lincoln, Port Vale, Walsall, Cardiff, QPR and Wycombe.
A keen musician, Ainsworth saved the club from going out of the Football League in 2014 and helped them rebuild to win promotion to League One in 2018, before reaching the second tier this year.
Who’s the captain?
Matt Bloomfield. The veteran midfielder is in his 17th full season with Wycombe, having joined from Ipswich in 2003.
The 37-year-old has since enjoyed three promotions, two play-off finals and a run to the semi-finals of the League Cup in that time.
Bloomfield has made over 550 appearances and scored 41 goals for the Buckinghamshire club, and has been dubbed ‘Mr Wycombe’.
Who are the key men?
Full-back Joe Jacobson is a set-piece specialist and he has contributed four goals and six assists for Ainsworth’s side this term, with the visitors hoping he can recover from injury in time to face the Swans.
Forwards Fred Onyedinma, Scott Kashket and Uche Ikpeazu have also netted four goals apiece.
They don’t lack for experience with David Stockdale between the sticks and former Swan Adebayo Akinfenwa in the ranks, while Leicester defender Josh Knight has impressed on loan.