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Jose Mourinho impressed by the way Gareth Ainsworth gets a tune out of Wycombe

Jonathan Veal, PA
·3-min read

Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho has admiration for Gareth Ainsworth’s approach to life, but would not want to be part of the Wycombe manager’s rock band.

Ainsworth is a self-confessed extrovert and prowls the dugout area of the Championship club with his shoulder-length hair flowing over his leather jacket.

When the football is done for the day, he is the frontman in a band called The Cold Blooded Hearts, when Covid-19 allows at least.

But Ainsworth is also a highly efficient coach, having led Wycombe from League Two to the Championship for the first time in their career.

Spurs visit Adams Park on Monday night for an FA Cup fourth-round clash, where Mourinho is full of respect for the man he will stand opposite.

“The coach is good,” Mourinho said of Ainsworth. “You only stay in the club for so long if you are good.

“You play in different divisions, you are promoted, you stay and fight in a difficult competition like they are now in the Championship.

“He knows what he wants. His team has a certain way to play. He knows clearly the way he wants to play.

“He knows clearly how to take the best out of his players so the coach is good.

Gareth Ainsworth led Wanderers to the Championship last year (Adam Davy/PA)
Gareth Ainsworth led Wanderers to the Championship last year (Adam Davy/PA)

“Then the man. He must be a guy that enjoys his life. He looks to me a happy guy and if to be happy, part of his life is to play the rock, to sing, to be part of that beautiful world which is the music, he just has to do it.

“He has this long rock-star hair, amazing. I’m really pleased he’s a good coach and a happy guy.

“I feel sorry I cannot sing with him because I will destroy his music.”

Spurs will be heavy favourites to progress to the next stage, not least because Wycombe only returned to training late last week after a coronavirus outbreak.

But Mourinho insists a Premier League club taking on a Championship outfit is not a David-versus-Goliath tie it might once have been.

“Wycombe is Championship and Championship are as professional as we are,” he added. “We get more money than them and we are more exposed than them but in the end they are professionals like we are.

“They have quality to be in the Premier League. We have quality to be in the Championship.

“So the difference is not what it was decades ago.

“Championship is one of the best leagues in the world. It is much better than many Premier Leagues in other countries so I don’t look at Wycombe as a team that is going to try to kill the giant.

“I don’t feel much difference between the Championship and Premier League. See Brentford, see the difficulties everybody has when they play against them. For me, that story doesn’t exist when we are speaking about Championship.”