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Jul 3, 2020 at 7.30pm UK
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Gareth Ainsworth: 'Wycombe Wanderers can achieve Championship fairytale'

:Headline: Gareth Ainsworth: 'Wycombe Wanderers can achieve Championship fairytale':
Wycombe could reach English football's second tier for the first time in their history with promotion via the League One play-offs.

Wycombe boss Gareth Ainsworth insists his side's promotion to the Sky Bet Championship would rank as one of football's great fairytales as they prepare for their League One play-off semi-final against Fleetwood.

Ainsworth says his Chairboys squad have already confounded expectations after being elevated to third in the revised final table via the points-per-game rule, having initially sat outside the play-off places when the season was curtailed.

And he believes they have nothing to lose ahead of Friday's trip to the north-west as they aim to reach English football's second tier for the first time in their history.

Ainsworth said: "It will be as big an achievement as you've seen in football for a team like Wycombe to be competing in the Championship next year.

"It doesn't even feel real talking like that. It would just be unbelievable, and it's possible, which is magnificent, and it shows how well the players have done this season.

"They have overachieved so I would just like them to be looked upon in future as the team that got there, and if they don't they'll still be the team that finished in the highest league position we've ever had."

Ainsworth's Wycombe jumped into the play-offs via the points-per-game rule (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Ainsworth, who expects to be able to pick from a fully-fit squad, admitted there are many intangibles about the behind-closed-doors return that have affected preparations.

And he acknowledged the importance of a strong mental approach given the unique challenges of social distancing amid such a potentially historic month for the club.

Ainsworth added: "I've put total trust in my sports science and medical teams for the physical side, and my side is about the tactics and the mental approach.

"I'm pretty confident we're going to be in a good place physically, but I think the mental side is going to be just as big – that's a big part of what we are."

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CCoventry CityCoventry341813348301867
3Oxford UnitedOxford Utd35179961372460
5Fleetwood TownFleetwood351612751381360
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10Ipswich TownIpswich3614101246361052
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14Bristol Rovers35129143849-1145
15Lincoln CityLincoln35126174446-242
16Shrewsbury TownShrewsbury341011133142-1141
17Accrington StanleyAccrington351010154753-640
18MK Dons35107183647-1137
20AFC Wimbledon35811163952-1335
RTranmere RoversTranmere3488183660-2432
RSouthend UnitedSouthend3547243985-4619
RBolton WanderersBolton34511182766-3914
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3Atletico MadridAtletico401818454302472
6Real Sociedad38168145648856
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