GARETH Ainsworth, the Wycombe Wanderers captain, is used to being persona non grata with Sheffield United supporters.
But, having heard Gary Waddock’s men booed off the pitch following their recent defeat at Tranmere Rovers, the former Wimbledon and Queens Park Rangers winger must come to terms with the fact he is not flavour of the month with the Adams Park faithful either.
Ainsworth, whose team have lost five of their 11 outings since gaining promotion last season, has acknowledged Wanderers “owe” both their manager and fans a performance when they entertain Sheffield United in what promises to be a frosty League One fixture tomorrow afternoon.
“We’ll take those boos,” he said, reflecting on the 2-0 loss to Rovers. “We know we are better than we showed out there and we’ll bounce back from it.
“The people who came to watch us had travelled a long way and so they’re entitled to boo if that’s what they want to do.”
Despite the euphoria surrounding last term’s achievement, Wanderers have yet to translate that jubilation in to results. A 3-1 win at whipping boys Leyton Orient is their only success outside of knockout competition.
Grumblings of discontent on the terraces reached a crescendo when Waddock’s players were accused of failing to acknowledge those who had made the long journey from Buckinghamshire following a reverse at Yeovil.
Ainsworth has endured a difficult relationship with United supporters ever since being involved in the challenge which effectively ended Dane Whitehouse’s career 14 years ago.
“The gaffer is a good man and we owe him,” he said.