Gareth Ainsworth reveals why Wycombe snubbed back door arrival at Sunderland
Gareth Ainsworth was keen to ensure his Wycombe Wanderers side didn't take back stage at Sunderland - both on and off the field.
The Chairboys proved a more than worthy opponent for the Black Cats on the field, putting in a resolute and committed display to earn a 1-1 draw.
And manager Ainsworth made sure his side were able to fully embrace their surroundings away from the pitch too, revelling in a stadium which has welcomed many star-studded sides over the years.
Having stayed at the nearby Hilton Garden Inn, Wycombe arrived at the Stadium of Light on foot - with Ainsworth claiming they were then offered the chance to enter the ground through a back door.
LIVE: All the latest Sunderland AFC news - with updates on Ndong and WatmoreBut he snubbed that offer, keen instead to see his side enter through the front door in what he felt was just rewards for their performances en route to promotion from League Two last season.
"We stayed next door to the ground," said Ainsworth.
"I think teams usually come through a back door but I said to the stewards I wanted our lads to come in through the front door with our chests out.
READ: Sunderland defender reveals Peter Reid's glowing reference"There’s some fabulous names and clubs and players who have come through those doors and my lads deserved that after last season.
"I wanted them to puff their chests out and be proud of knowing that they've earned the right to come to places like this, after what they achieved last year."
The result was seen by many as one of the shocks of the weekend, with Ainsworth revealing post-match that he was happy to bust a few coupons.
MORE: Championship club set to swoop for Josh Maja - reportsBut despite confessing they do 'punch above their weight', the Wycombe boss was delighted to see his game plan come to fruition on Wearside.
"We know we've not got the biggest resources, with no academy and no reserve team, but we punch above our weight and we wanted to come here and be on the front foot," he added.
"We had a plan in place and it was nice to see parts of that plan come off during the game, and cause some problems for Sunderland."