Gareth Ainsworth WILL NOT be sidetracked by Blackburn manager’s job links, Wycombe striker Sam Vokes insists

SAM VOKES insists Gareth Ainsworth has not been distracted by talks of a Championship move.

And the Wycombe forward says winning the League One play-offs this month could even be the carrot for longtime Ainsworth to stay at Adams Park.

Wycombe boss Gareth Ainsworth is reportedly shortlisted by championship team Blackburn but is focused on the play-offs, says Sam Vokes


Wycombe boss Gareth Ainsworth is reportedly shortlisted by championship team Blackburn but is focused on the play-offs, says Sam VokesCredit: PA
Striker Sam Vokes admits that his future


Striker Sam Vokes admits his future is “up in the air” but says he would love to play with Wycombe in the ChampionshipPhoto credit: Rex

SunSport announced on Monday that Ainsworth was shortlisted for the job at Blackburn to replace Tony Mowbray, who will depart at the end of his contract.

The 48-year-old has also been linked with Watford.

But Vokes, who meets MK Dons at home in the semi-final first leg on Thursday night, is confident his team-mates won’t derail their promotion bid.

Vokes said: “There are no distractions from us. Gareth has been at the club for nine years and over 500 games and where he has taken the club from the cusp of championship last season and hopefully close to a repeat has been brilliant.

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Blackburn shortlisted Wycombe manager and lifelong fan Gareth Ainsworth

“It’s natural that he would be associated with those jobs.

“I know that he is totally focused on this job. He really wanted to make the playoffs. The players will play for him and he will do everything for the players to get there too.”

Indeed, Wycombe’s best chance of extending Ainsworth’s tenure to a decade may be to beat their Buckinghamshire rivals and then emerge victorious in the Wembley final on May 21.

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Asked about this scenario of an immediate return to English football’s second division, Vokes added: “Yes, of course. This is one side of it.

“You can never tell what will happen in the future but after speaking to him and the way he speaks to the team I know he is fully committed to taking us to the championship.”

Vokes scored 16 goals to seal Wycombe’s final play-off spot in sixth place with a 2-1 win on the final day at Burton on Saturday, while the Chairboys went on to finish sixth after their 5-0 win over Plymouth , a favor from opponent MK Dons received seventh place.

The Wales forward said: “The last day was nervous. We have relied on the results elsewhere.

“Every once in a while I would hear cheers from our away fans at Burton.

“I had scored just before half-time and then I found out MK Dons were three at Plymouth so it was in our hands and it made the second half a little less stressful.

“The placements in the league don’t really make a difference now. It’s a two-game shootout and we’re looking forward to the game.

I won promotion, but not through a play-off at Wembley. I can only imagine this feeling. I long for it and dream of this day.

Sam Vokes

“The Welsh striker, who has won three automatic promotions with Wolves and Burnley but none via the play-offs, said: “It’s been a fantastic season and we’ve earned the right to finish in the top six.

“It was probably one of the toughest League Ones I’ve seen in terms of points, club size and strength. It was a tremendous achievement, but it all starts here.

“There is no better feeling than being promoted. I got promoted through the league, but not by winning a play-off at Wembley.

“I can only imagine what that feeling would be like. I long for it and dream of this day. That spurs us on.

“I haven’t played in a play-off game but Wycombe as a club and the player group have been involved on many occasions like this.

“The manager and the older players have a lot of experience in the playoffs and that should play into our hands.”

Vokes signed an initial one-year deal with an option for a further 12 months from Stoke for Wycombe last summer.

But the Welshman with 64 caps is only focused on the play-offs.

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Vokes said: “The last few years at Stoke have been ups and downs for me. I didn’t get regular football. But I really enjoyed myself here.

“As a striker you want to score goals so it’s nice to get those numbers and hopefully I can add a few more in the next few weeks.

“My future is still up in the air. I’ve signed a one-year contract and then I’ll see what happens at the end of the season. It will be great to be part of this club again in the league.” Gareth Ainsworth WILL NOT be sidetracked by Blackburn manager’s job links, Wycombe striker Sam Vokes insists


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