It wasn’t how anyone at the club imagined gaining promotion to the Championship for the first time in their history, but it really didn’t matter – Wycombe Wanderers had done it.

Following a season interrupted by COVID-19, earning a place in the play-offs by virtue of points per game and then beating Oxford United at an empty Wembley Stadium, Gareth Ainsworth’s team had upset all the odds to make to make it to the second tier of English football.

Speaking to UCFB exclusively as part of the LMA Insight Series at the start of pre-season, Ainsworth was still getting to grips with the achievement.

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“Honestly, we weren’t prepared for getting promoted,” he says. “It was that much of a shock!”

He added: “Even coming in to the final weeks and then Wembley… I remember that I was going to give a speech somewhere where I said the boys had done great to get to Wembley and we almost made it and what a great season we’d had, but when that whistle went it was almost like we’d done something wrong.

“It was the feeling that we’d upset that many odds and were never fancied to go up that much that it was almost a state of shock that we were in. It was an amazing feeling and there’s nothing like it.”

There were big celebrations at the club – at a safe social distance of course. Ainsworth is rightly proud of the work he, his staff and players put in over the extended 2019/20 season.

Looking ahead to their debut season in the Championship, Ainsworth said: “When the fixtures come out then it’s really going to hit home. I’ve heard people say ‘Wycombe Wanderers, Championship side’, I’ve seen it on the TV when it pops up and you see Wycombe at the bottom of the Championship now. So when those fixtures come out and we see the enormity of the task ahead and the teams we’re going to be playing, I think then it’s going to be about getting our teeth into what we’ve all deserved.”

Complementing his team once again, Ainsworth added: “It was a fantastic day [at Wembley] and a fantastic year for the boys. They’ve really delivered even more than I could imagine and that’s credit to them.”