The view from Wycombe

Article by George Dugdale Thursday, August 22nd, 2013  

Duncan Alexander is the head of UK content and media at Opta, providing statistics for the media and football geeks alike. Fortunately, with this weekend’s fixture list in mind, Duncan is also a Wycombe Wanderers fan. Rage Online spoke to Duncan about his hopes and expectations, and a man named Dean Morgan.

Duncan, these sides last met in April, when Wycombe were 1-0 winners at Grenoble Road. What have your guys been up to over the summer?

Not the most dramatic of summers really. A few players moved on (notable Joel Grant to Championship giants Yeovil) and a few came in. We signed a player called Paris (Cowan-Hall) which is as glamorous as it gets in League Two.

The opening league games of the season have seen Wycombe win one and lose two, each with a 1-0 scoreline. What do you make of the team’s early form and can we expect something a little more exciting on Saturday?

A good first half performance on the opening day and a decent showing against Leicester in the League Cup has been followed by two insipid displays against Wimbledon and Mansfield. Wycombe’s trouble last season was a staggering inconsistency and it doesn’t look like that has changed much.

JP Pittman has returned to Wycombe following his injury-plagued time with Oxford. How has he got on?

Always a popular player at Wycombe, most people were surprised but pleased with his return. A goal would be good, though. Especially one like he scored in the 2-2 vs Oxford in 2011, his last goal for the Chairboys in fact.

Another former Oxford striker Dean Morgan is in the Wycombe squad. Your fans appear to like him a lot more than we did. Why is this?

I’ve seen middle aged men howl with unadulterated rage at Morgan so I’m not convinced he’s that popular at Wycombe but he has scored a few goals for us, at least. His career has been a succession of short spells with not many goals so his 30-odd appearances for Wycombe is in some ways more impressive than Ryan Giggs’s total for Man Utd.

Which Oxford United players do you expect to pose the greatest threat to your side?

Constable scoring last weekend was concerning, he’s always been a hulking nuisance. I’ve always liked Alfie Potter, who also scored in that 2-2 draw when Pittman scored for Wycombe of course.

What are your hopes for the season ahead?

We’re a supporters-run club now and the last vestiges of the old regime have gone with the retirement of former chairman Ivor Beeks this week. Survival off the field and steady progress on it is enough for the time being. It’s excellent to know that everyone has the club’s best interests at heart.

Last season’s meetings between these sides saw the best and worst of Oxford United, how do you see this weekend’s game going?

Clearly you’ll be favourites and rightly so, but we’ve always reserved our best performances against Oxford for the away matches and how many teams start the season with four wins out of four? I just hope the dreadful phrase ‘the M40 derby’ isn’t used. Motorways do not inspire poetry.

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