Our View: Sunderland job might prove tempting for Wycombe boss

General view of the Stadium of Light during the FA Barclaycard Premiership match between Sunderland and Charlton Athletic held on February 1, 2003 at the Stadium of Light, in Sunderland,...

Gareth Ainsworth has led Wycombe Wanderers to second in the League One table, is he the right man to replace Jack Ross at Sunderland?

Gareth Ainsworth Head Coach of Wycombe Wanderers looks on prior to  the Sky Bet League Two match between Wycombe Wanderers and Forest Green Rovers at Adams Park on September 2, 2017 in...

Gareth Ainsworth admits that he is loving life at Wycombe Wanderers but hints that he could be tempted to leave Adams Park to take over the vacant managerial role at League One rivals Sunderland, speaking to the Totally Football League Show.

With his rock star haircut, Ainsworth is one of the third tier’s most recognisable faces but he’s also one of its finest managers too.

Ainsworth has spent seven years at Wycombe and The Chairboys are flying higher than ever before under his stewardship. As it stands, one of the smallest clubs in the division are currently second in the table, just behind league leaders Ipswich Town.

 

It is that remarkable rise which could catch the eye of a Sunderland side, who according to TEAMtalk, have prioritised a coach with a proven track record in the third tier.

“I’m really happy at Wycombe, they’ve been so good to me. But of course, I’m ambitious,” the former QPR midfielder has said this week.

Wycombe manager Gareth Ainsworth during the Sky Bet League One match between Wycombe Wanderers and Sunderland at Adams Park on March 9, 2019 in High Wycombe, United Kingdom.

“I want a club that has ambitions to play in the Championship, to be as high as they possibly can. I’m open to everything.”

Ainsworth believes that Wycombe could become a second-tier club but accepts that substantial investment is required. That is easier said than done for a team who continue to be balance on a shoestring budget.

Sunderland would be a completely different sort of challenge for a coach who thrives on being an underdog.

‘We’ve competed with what I think is the league’s best team. Jack Ross is a fantastic manager and this is a proper football club," Ainsworth told Club Call last season.

Wycombe Wanderers manager Gareth Ainsworth celebrates his sides first goal, scored by Paul Hayes during the Emirates FA Cup Second Round match between Chesterfield and Wycombe Wanderers at...

Have something to tell us about this article?

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch