Sunderland managerial target Gareth Ainsworth was flattered by the links but insists it would take something ‘spectacular’ to woo him away from Wycombe Wanderers, The Chronicle reports.
Ainsworth was one of Sunderland’s top options after sacking Jack Ross. The 46-year-old is a promising young manager who has achieved success with Wycombe. But Phil Parkinson was named as the new manager instead.
Since taking over as manager in 2012, Ainsworth had led the Chairboys to promotion to League One. Now, Wycombe are in contention for promotion to the Championship and this prompted Sunderland to explore this appointment. But Ainsworth turned down the opportunity – admitting that it would take something ‘spectacular’ to make him relocate.
Ainsworth on the Sunderland job
Ainsworth could not avoid questions about the Sunderland job at a press conference. Wycombe face Sunderland this weekend and, inevitably, Ainsworth was asked about the situation.
He said (via The Chronicle): “Sunderland are a huge club and I’m fully concentrated on Saturday’s game. I’m told there’s a lot of rumours and that’s flattering, because it shows we’re doing well. It would take something spectacular to take me away from here.
“There are so many factors in that. My family, my work here, the vote. But we’re very proud of what we’ve got here. I’m Wycombe Wanderers manager and I want to give the best account of ourselves on Saturday.”
Ainsworth’s track record suggests that he could have been a success at Sunderland. But the move made little sense for him at this stage in his life. With his family settled, having a job at a club he clearly cares a lot about is important.
The ex-QPR man might reconsider if a more local club comes knocking on the door. Sunderland, however, is just too far away from Berkshire for Ainsworth to consider it at this stage of his life.