Ainge delighted to help blunt Wrexham’s experienced attack

Patient defender Simon Ainge was pleased Town’s defence had been able to blunt promotion-hopefuls Wrexham’s attack on his return to the tea at the weekend, writes Mark Wood.

Wrexham v Luton Town. wk 12.
Wrexham v Luton Town. wk 12.

The Red Dragons put them under plenty of pressure at the Racecourse Ground on Saturday but stood strong against Wrexham’s experienced strikeforce.

Ainge, 25, said: “You could tell playing against them that they were high on confidence and they are a good team, so it were good to come here and get a clean sheet especially away from.

“It’s a tough game to come into but I thought everyone did really well today and Tyles (Mark Tyler) made a few good saves, it was a good solid performance.

“Everyone in the back four, Jake (Goodman), Macca (Steve McNulty), Snoop (Lathaniel Rowe-Turner), have all done really well today. Snoop with a clearance off the line, Jake gets some great headers and blocks in and Macca just played his usual game, winning headers, talking to us and a few good, calm passes out when we needed it so I thought we did really well as a back four today.”

It was a good response from Luton after their shambolic 2-1 home defeat Hyde last Tuesday.

He said: “We’ve got to bounce back, we were disappointed the other night but the lads have all been working hard and we don’t want to put in performances like that, but hopefully we can kick on from today and have a good end of the season.”

And Ainge admitted he has found it difficult looking on from the sidelines since losing his regular place at the turn of the year, but hopes he has proved himself to new boss John Still.

He said: “It’s been horrible. As a footballer you want to be playing every week and going into training and working hard and then just being sat in the stand, no footballer wants to do it.

“It’s hard as a footballer, but I’ve just had to keep my head down and then wait for the opportunity and sometimes it comes round when you’re not really expecting it because Ronnie would have played today and I was just ready for when the opportunity came and I’m just delighted to come and get a point today and to keep the clean sheet.

“Obviously it’s been frustrating because I was desperate to play, I’ve tried to just keep my head down and working hard and then this opportunity’s come up and I’d like to think that I’ve took it today.

“It’s great to get back out there, obviously my first game under a new manager and I just got told before the game that Ronnie wasn’t well and I got the nod to come in at right-back.

“I was glad to come in and keep a clean sheet and enjoyed the game.

“Hopefully today I’ve come out and shown what I can do and hopefully I can get back in the team.”

Ainge has seen competition steadily increase at centre-half since being brought in by ex-manager Paul Buckle with the additions of Steve McNulty, Wayne Thomas and Jake Goodman.

“I’ve had to be patient, he’s brought some of his own players in,” said Ainge. “I’ve had a chat with the gaffer and I’ve said to him I just want a chance like everyone else and he’s given me that today and hopefully I’ve proved to him I can be in his team.

“All manager have different ways. We do a lot of shape and a lot of organisation. I think as you could see today it helps and like the manager keeps saying it’s going to take time, but hopefully once it clicks we’ll start pushing on.”

And on the departure of Buckle, he added: “We’ve just got to deal with it, it’s something that happens in football. Managers change, because of results happening or they move on if they get other opportunities and it’s just something you’ve got to deal with. And my job stays the same. So I’ve just come in, tried to work hard and get another opportunity.”