Wilder promising promotion-chasing Wycombe a battle at Sixfields

LATE HEARTBREAK - Wycombe Wanderers' players celebrate their last-gasp equaliser against the Cobblers back in October
LATE HEARTBREAK - Wycombe Wanderers' players celebrate their last-gasp equaliser against the Cobblers back in October

Manager Chris Wilder says the Cobblers ‘have an obligation’ to field their strongest team to try and deny Wycombe the win they need to keep alive their promotion hopes on Saturday.

Gareth Ainsworth’s side come to Sixfields needing a win to stand a chance of finishing in the top three, although they also need Southend and Bury to slip up.

We have an obligation to pick the right side, I have an obligation to do the right thing by my football club, and by the league

Cobblers boss Chris Wilder

The Cobblers can no longer reach the play-offs, and are safely in mid-table in Sky Bet League Two.

Some managers in such a situation may use the final game of long and demanding season to give a few youngsters a run-out and experiment a little, but not Wilder.

He has warned Wanderers that they will be facing a fully committed Cobblers team.

“Wycombe have had a fantastic season, and deserve to be up there in the table,” said Wilder.

“Gareth is another manager that has had two or three seasons to put his own stamp on things, and he has done that.

“They have done fantastically well, but we will be playing our strongest team, no doubt about that, there’ll be no resting players, no fielding young players.

“We have an obligation to pick the right side, I have an obligation to do the right thing by my football club, and by the league.

“We will be putting our strongest team out to try and win a game of football, but we understand that Wycombe have a lot to play for.”

Wilder has set his sights on a top 10 finished for his team, and believes that should be motivation enough for his players, but if an extra edge is needed, the manager and players need only think back to the last time the teams played at Adams Park in October.

Wycombe equalised in the eighth-minute of time added on to nick a point from a 1-1 draw.

Town felt a real sense of injustice that day, with Gregor Robertson having earlier been controversially sent off for time-wasting while he was waiting for a substitution to be made, and the home side’s over-celebration of their equaliser.

It all left a bit of a sour taste in the mouth, and Wilder admitted this fixture has ‘a little bit of extra fuel to it’.

“There were a few bits and pieces happened that day, and that is part and parcel of sport,” said the Cobblers boss.

“You have rivalries and you have things that happen in games against certain clubs that add a little bit of extra fuel to it.

“We won’t be putting extra effort in because it is Wycombe, we will simply be putting our maximum in which we need to do to win any game of football.

“We didn’t do that last Saturday in the first half, but we will be looking to do that.

“You will always find little sub-plots, and you look back to that first game and think we were a little bit hard done by on a couple of things. But we had to take it on the chin.”