Millwall target stops short of completely ruling out move away from Wycombe Wanderers

GARETH Ainsworth said he was flattered after being linked with taking over at Millwall and Sunderland – and didn't go as far as firmly ruling out leaving Wycombe Wanderers. 

Ainsworth was in the running for the job with the Black Cats, whom Wycombe play this weekend, before they appointed former Bradford and Bolton boss Phil Parkinson on Thursday.

Current Lions caretaker Adam Barrett, ex-Stoke manager Gary Rowett and Ainsworth are being considered to take over as the next permanent Millwall boss.

"I personally don't want to be the only one who is flattered because it's testament to the players, my staff, the fans and the support I have had from inside and outside the club," Ainsworth told local media on Thursday.

"It's great. We wanted to put Wycombe Wanderers back on the map and I think we have done that.

"It has never been so crazy with the press and the phone ringing and talking about Wycombe doing so well and being linked here, there and everywhere.

"It's fantastic but I have a really big job now on Saturday. It's a huge game against Sunderland and I want to make sure that everyone is focused on that rather than what could be happening outside, because at the moment I'm sat here as Wycombe Wanderers manager and I'm looking forward to Saturday."

Ainsworth also told BBC Three Counties Radio that it would take "something special" to tempt him away.

"I'm flattered and thankful to everyone who's enabled all this hype to come about.

"The club has been in the media saying they've given me permission to speak to people and that's fantastic.

"I can't show my gratitude enough for that because then I'll look at the position and that's probably to find out if things are spectacular enough to leave Wycombe.

"But there's a huge amount of factors involved – my family situation, what we've built here, the vote (from the supporters' trust to decide on a takeover proposal).

"It will take something special to move me away but I'm also very grateful and proud to be the Wycombe Wanderers manager, and looking forward to the huge game on Saturday.

"Spice or no spice it doesn't matter to me, I want to try and give a really good account of ourselves against possibly the strongest team in the league."

Image: Action Plus 

John Kelly