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Wycombe Preview

By: Richard Hubbert
Date: 01/01/2004

AFTER failing to secure a win for the whole of December and pressure mounting on boss Paul Groves, Town will want to start 2004 in a positive fashion against Tony Adams’ Wycombe side who are rooted to the foot of the second division table.

Home > 2003-2004 Season > Previews > Wycombe (a)

Saturday’s game at the Causeway Stadium could make or break both sides season. A loss for Town would see them start to look over their shoulders at the relegation zone whilst a win could edge them nearer the top half of the division. Wycombe are simply desperate for a win, being five points adrift at the bottom of the table.

The Opposition

Tony Adams (left). Few people need an introduction to one of the best central defenders this country has ever produced. Tony Adams was appointed manager of the Buckinghamshire club in November following the temporary stewardship of John Gorman. Despite winning his first game 4-1 against Swindon in the FA Cup, Adams has had a tough introduction to football management. Since that Swindon game, they have won just one of their last ten games with that win coming against Bournemouth at home just a few weeks ago. Harsh words have been spoken in the past few weeks by Adams. Only this week he said "I think you’ve got to own up here and say that some of these guys aren’t good enough. It can’t just be me who is saying that".

Adams has also controversially dropped two of Wanderers’ more senior players - Darren Currie and Captain Michael Simpson, afterwards stating that he thought that they were both resigned to relegation. Adams has been chopping and changing his side for weeks, so this, coupled with two new loan signings that have been drafted in this week could make his team selection interesting to say the least.

The Team
There has been a lot of chopping and changing for the Chairboys since Town last met them in August. After this week, Wanderers now have no less than four players on loan at the club. Perhaps the most significant this week has been the capture of former Spurs defender Stuart Nethercott (left) who joined the Chairboys from Millwall from a month, along with Nathan Tyson who has moved for a month from Reading after requesting to go on the transfer list. Also on loan with the club are teenagers Luke MoorE, a pacy striker from Aston Villa and Newcastle’s Steven Taylor. Still playing an influential part in the side is Wanderers legend Keith Ryan who joined the club nearly 14 years ago - 1990. Jermain McSporran is always a threat - demonstrated by the nine goals he has netted this season. Also likely to be in the squad is Charlie Mapes, who scored against Town in August.

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  • The Mariners have doubts over the fitness of their Welsh international full back Darren Barnard who has been suffering with illness all week. If he fails to make the starting eleven, then Greg Young will once again deputise after shaking off the sore hamstrings that forced him off 15 minutes before the end of Sundays game with Peterborough.

  • Jason Crowe still misses out through suspension, but will be back for the away game with Port Vale on the 17th January. Once again, Des Hamilton will partner Alan Pouton in the centre of midfield.

  • John McDermott will probably return to the lineup after taking a rest last weekend as a precaution for his hernia problem. This means that Marcel Cas will probably drop to the bench.
  • Wycombe will give debuts to new loan signings Stuart Nethercott and Nathan Tyson. Tony Adams will be sweating on the fitness of left back Chris Vinnicombe who missed out of the game with Rushden. If he fails to shake off his injury then 18 year old Andy Reilly will deputise.

  • Further changes could still be made for the home side. Darren Currie and Michael Simpson were dropped last week for being "resigned to relegation" according to Tony Adams. But this week, they have both said that they are ready for the fight, which could mean they earn recalls.

  • Charlie Mapes is unlikely to start after being hauled off at half time last weekend, Dannie Bullman could replace him.
  • Probable Starting XI's


    Aidan Davison
    John McDermott
    Greg Young
    Tony Crane
    Mike Edwards
    Stuart Campbell
    Phil Jevons
    Alan Pouton
    Des Hamilton
    Mike Boulding
    Iffy Onoura
    Steve Williams
    Danny Senda
    Steven Taylor
    Stuart Nethercott
    Andy Reilly
    Keith Ryan
    Dannie Bullman
    Jermaine McSporran
    Matt Bloomfield
    Craig Faulconbridge
    Nathan Tyson



    Marcel Cas
    Paul Groves
    Darren Mansaram
    Iain Anderson
    Simon Ford
    Luke Moore
    Charlie Mapes
    Frank Talia (GK)
    Darren Currie
    Michael Simpson


    The most obvious connection between the two sides is the Mariners current striker Iffy Onoura (left) who played six games for them in August, failing to net a goal. He was sent back from his loan from Sheffield United a game early, enabling him to join Town for their game with Chesterfield. Former Town manager Kenny Swain once played for the Chairboys before moving onto Chelsea in 1973. It was Swain who took over from Brian Laws in 1996, unable to prevent the Mariners relegation to division two.

    Last Time Out

    It was of course, not so long ago since the two sides last met - only on a lovely Summer's day last August when Town strolled to a 3-1 win. Darren Barnard scored a fantastic free kick on the edge of the box and goals from Mick Boulding and Marcel Cas consolidated Towns win. Wycomebe’s Charlie Mapes scored a consolation goal in the last minute to deny Town their first clean sheet of the season.

    Town Team: Davison, Crowe, Crane, Ford, Barnard (Parker, 81 ), Cas (Mansaram, 81 ), Groves, Hamilton, Campbell, Boulding, Rowan
    Subs: (not used) Ten Heuvel, Edwards Goals: Barnard (27), Boulding (52), Cas (79)

    Wycombe Team: Talia, Dell, Rogers, Johnson, Vinnicombe, McSporran ( Dixon, 72 ), Simpson ( Mapes, 68 ), Bulman, Currie, Onuora, Patterson ( Senda, 58 )
    Subs: (not used) Thomson, Brown
    Goals: Mapes (90)

    Attendance: 4,512    Report

    Wycombe Head-to-Head (46th on The Opposition Ladder).


    Fishy prediction: 2-1 to the Mariners Reader's POMs


    Click on the link for directions to the Causeway Stadium (left).


    Click on the link for pubs near the Causeway Stadium .

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