Wycombe Wanderers vs Southend United...
Tomorrow afternoon sees Blues take on Wycombe Wanderers for the first time since that infamous day in May 2015 when Southend won the League Two Play-Off Final in dramatic fashion.
Plenty of faces will have changed around both clubs since then and one of the new faces will be in the away dugout as Chris Powell looks for his side to build on last weekend’s win against Fleetwood.
Gareth Ainsworth was the opposition manager on that day at Wembley and he remains in charge at Adams Park, helping guide The Chairboys to promotion via the automatic places last season.
Wycombe haven’t had it all their own way since being promoted, winning just once in the league so far, and they go into tomorrow’s clash off the back of a midweek defeat in the Carabao Cup.
Wycombe Wanderers: LDWDLW
Southend United: WLLWLW
23rd May 2015: Southend United (Pigott) 1 vs 1 (Bentley OG) Wycombe Wanderers
7th March 2015: Southend United (Corr 2) 2 vs 2 (Craig, Mawson) Wycombe Wanderers
13th December 2014: Wycombe Wanderers (Cowan-Hall, McClure 2, Jacobson) 4 vs 1 (Payne) Southend United
Blues finally welcome back club captain Mark Oxley and midfielder Michael Kightly after both served out their three-match bans last weekend against Fleetwood.
Oxley will go straight back into the side while Kightly may be utilised from the bench, depending on whether Powell wants to stick with the 3-4-1-2 formation that proved a success last Saturday.
Midfielder Dru Yearwood stepped up his recovery from a hamstring problem, playing an hour in a behind closed doors game earlier in the week, meaning he could feature too come 3pm tomorrow. Harry Bunn is also available after his niggle.
Wycombe continue to monitor the recovery of their captain Adam El-Abd. The defender has been missing from The Chairboys’ side now for a number of weeks due to a thigh injury.
Fellow defender Anthony Stewart is also likely to miss out along with striker Nathan Tyson, while summer signing Darius Charles will be looking for his first league start at Adams Park.
Chris Powell, Southend United Manager:
“They’ve had a few draws, you can see why - Norwich should have been out of sight [on Tuesday] - but one thing Wycombe do have is an abundance of character to stay in the game.
“You can see that Gareth [Ainsworth] had a good career - he’s a real likeable guy and has done terrifically well there.
“They are really ‘Wimbledon-Esq’ in their mindset, their mentality. That spirit drags everyone and they are all in it together - it’s good to see, that kind of togetherness hasn’t gone from the football club.”
Gareth Ainsworth, Wycombe Wanderers Manager:
“We’re looking forward to facing Southend who are a dangerous team with a great manager in Chris Powell. Chris is a real good friend and is a very talented manager so we’ll be up against it in that respect but we have got to take spirit from our recent results.
“This game is an exciting one on paper as people will always point to Wembley and this is the first time that we’ve met since then, but it will be the furthest thing from my mind as that is a distant memory.
“We’re League One now and we’re competing against a side that will look to be up there this season and let’s see what we can do.”
Another 400 tickets have arrived and are ON SALE having sold out our initial allocation of 500 unreserved seated tickets in the Lords Builders Merchant Stand.
Tickets will come off sale from the Blues Box Office on Friday at 3pm. Tickets will be available to collect from the main ticket office at Roots Hall until this time, after which they will be sent to Wycombe to collect on the day.
The collection point is the blue pod in the car park located next to the club shop.
Ticket prices increase by £2 on the day of the game. There will be cash turnstiles and the option of paying card at ticket office number one but be aware of potential queues.