English League 2

Ainsworth: Pressure is off

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Sat, 02 Mar 2013 20:59:00

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers described Luis Suarez as a "pleasure to work with" after the Uruguayan's hat-trick in his side's 4-0 win at Wigan.

Suarez's treble took his tally to 21 Premier League goals for the season, two ahead of Manchester United's Robin van Persie, and Rodgers knows what a special talent he has on his hands.

"He's such a pleasure to work with," he said.

"This is a man, and it might seem strange, who trains every day and wants to train every day. He is so hungry and has the humility.

"He is in there pleased for the team. He has quality, finishing, work-rate and that's what makes him world class."

Philippe Coutinho also impressed again, suggesting he is settling into life in England following his move from Inter Milan.

"He is still picking up fitness and got another 60, 70 minutes today," Rodgers said of the midfielder. "You can see how he fits in to us.

"But this was a fantastic team performance."

The Reds forward will likely have to console himself with Europa League football at best next season, and Rodgers knows that Europe's heavyweights are bound to come calling in the summer in an attempt to lure Suarez away.

"It is hard to say it is not important because it is as top players want to play at the top level," he said.

"There will always be interest in top players and he is a world class player.

"I speak regularly with Luis and I had a good meeting with his agent a few weeks ago who expressed how much he wants to be a part of things going forward."

Following a 1-1 draw with Dagenham during the week, the Bantams bounced back with late strikes from James Hanson and Garry Thompson securing the points at Bootham Crescent.

The Bantams are now nine points away from the play-offs with two games in hand over their promotion rivals.

"All three points are big, but as it is a local derby and after the draw on Wednesday, I thought it was a terrific away performance," he said.

"It was very professional on a difficult surface and I thought we were very disciplined and we played well defensively.

"At this stage of the season games aren't going to be too pretty and it's about being strong, committed and disciplined and it does sometimes take seventy five minutes for games to open up. Especially at this stage of the season when there is so much to play for it's great to get the points.

"A win takes us a step closer to where we want to be but the games come thick and fast and we have another one on Tuesday. The squad will be used to its maximum once again because that's important.

"We are a squad pulling in the right direction and we'll battle for every ball and every point until the final whistle on the last game of the season."

Fleetwood, who extended their winless run to four League Two games, had been hoping to reignite a play-off charge at Adams Park but it was Stewart who had the last laugh.

Ainsworth admitted it was so tight at the bottom of the division that now his side had moved to 48 points for the season it is onwards and upwards for Wycombe, with relegation now out of the question.

"We're just happy to get back-to-back wins," said Ainsworth. "I'm really pleased and I think personally 48 or 49 points could get you relegated still this season but that's taken the pressure off.

"It's very close down there so it'll be nice just to get one more win and get in the 50's and then I'll probably concede that we're safe.

"Fleetwood are a strong side, very physical and they have aspirations of promotion this season so it's a good scalp for us and probably a marker for how far we've come.

"Anthony Stewart has come up with a great winner and I'm so pleased for him. At the end of the game I think we had six or seven teenagers on the pitch and it's great for Wycombe. I'm really proud of the way those youngsters are coming on.

"We're looking up as well and it's probably time to look up the table and see what we can do."

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