Jason McCarthy, Wycombe’s ‘Unsung Hero’


Unsung Hero: Jason McCarthy
Photo: Prost International

Wycombe Wanderers 1 : 0 Sheffield Wednesday

For the first half-hour, this contest looked like a mismatch. Led by the outstanding Barry Bannan, Sheffield Wednesday dominated this match, but the perseverance of the Chairboys led by the former Southampton man paid dividends as Jordan Obita scored the all-important winner.

You could not fault the energy levels of a Wycombe side who had looked weary and insipid in the first half at Wimbledon, but the Owls were just a step ahead of their hosts in every department.

Whether it be Massimo Luongo or Chey Dunkley, all the commanding players were clad in lilac.

However, a battered and under siege Chairboys rearguard protected David Stockdale superbly. Chris Forino and Ryan Tafazolli showed that they are growing into a superb centre half partnership.

“The culture and ethos here just gives you the platform to express yourself and be the player you can be.”

 – Jason McCarthy

Despite their height, they proved adept at foiling a less physical and more ground-based Wednesday attack and disproved the myth that tall centre-halves are only selected for their aerial ability.

In front of them Dominic Gape, once thought of as merely the man who plays when Anthony Stewart is injured, continued as a starter and thoroughly justified that faith.

Sam Vokes had experienced a frustrating first half seeing anything aerial gobbled up by the excellent Dunkley or Sam Hutchinson, but he won a key headed in the second half, directing the ball to the feet of Daryl Horgan.

Horgan assessed the option while progressing towards the Wednesday goal and slipped an inch-perfect pass to Jordan Obita to net the game’s only goal.

In recent weeks, almost all Wycombe players have returned to form.

Match winner Jordan Obita/Photo: Prost International

Two-goal Garath McCleary was rightly lauded after the Plymouth Argyle game. Gape’s recent of performances have received rave reviews. With only two goals conceded in the last seven games, the entire defence has been rightly lauded.

However, there’s an unsung hero in there, Jason McCarthy. He was quietly superb against a dangerous Wednesday side.

Prost talked to him and sought his views on the match, his performances and the coach:

“It was a dogged display. I think it was a very intense game. It was a game where I think we had to stand up to them. They were physical as well, they matched how we like to go about things.

“I’m just happy we managed to get three points, it was important we did, considering the other results today. We are right in there going into Burton on Saturday.”

Were Wednesday the best side they’d beaten?

“It’s hard to say (if Wycombe have beaten a better team) because we’ve beaten some really good teams in Plymouth and Oxford, but yeah they are a really, really good team.

“If you look at their squad it’s a Championship squad, so we’re really happy with the three points.”

How does he feel about being called an unsung hero?

“It’s very kind (being called the unsung hero). Look, I just go about my business for the team, I love this club and I do my best like my mum and dad say.”

Before we asked manager Garteh Ainsworth about McCarthy, we aksed McCarthy how his manager had helped his game:

“He’s unbelievable (Gareth), I absolutely love him. A lot of credit has to go to his assistant Richard Dobson too, I’ve never worked with two like them. They just make you believe in yourself.

“The culture and ethos here just gives you the platform to express yourself and be the player you can be. I’m very thankful for them both.”

Gareth Ainsworth thinks highly of the player too and praised the work he does that outsiders don’t see inside the dressing room.

This is a club that has taken the season to the very last game in five of the last six seasons which says something about the spirit.

The very narrow win over Wednesday keeps Wycombe’s playoff hopes alive.

They have to watch on this Tuesday as Sunderland host Rotherham and Sheffield Wednesday visit Fleetwood Town. The plucky Lancastrian club can virtually secure a most unlikely and brave escape from the drop if they shock the Owls in their last home game of the season.

Rotherham are level on points with Milton Keynes Dons but have this game in hand. Four points would see them promoted.

The table is so close that any Sunderland loss would see them slip from 4th to 5th on goal difference behind Plymouth. A loss by three would actually see them slip to sixth behind Wycombe.

If that happens and Wednesday only draw at Fleetwood, four teams will go into Saturday on 80 points, of which only three will make the playoffs.

Any heroes from those four clubs will definitely be sung. Even Jason McCarthy.

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