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|1994-1995-RESULTS, SCORERS, ATTENDANCES - MORE REPORTS||MORE MAGIC MOMENTS|
|A look back at the 1994/95 season|
After a promotion winning debut season in the Football League, Wanderers headed for their first 'Second Division' campaign with a some uncertainty on the playing and managerial front.
Much of the pre-season news centred around whether Manager Martin O'Neill would extend his contract with the Wanderers. Speaking to the press in July 1994, Club Chairman Ivor Beeks was confident O'Neill would extend his current contract that ran until the end of the 1994/95 season. Beeks also said, "I think the budget we have got this year is realistic. Certainly the budget for playersí wages and bonuses compare well in the Second Division." And the Chairman put faith in O'Neill to develop the squad as the Manager saw fit, adding, "At the end of the day Martin is there to run a football team. We have not got a bottomless pit. He will get the right people to do the right job. I do get people asking if we have signed anybody new. I wonder why people want him to change things round. There are 7,000 to 8,000 managers on the terrace. But there is one fella who has picked the team for the last four years and look where we are."
Steve Guppy's delay in agreeing a new one year deal with the Wanderers was one the major talking points regarding close season player movement at Adams Park. Guppy now had an agent and was aware that higher League clubs were chasing his signature. Guppy would eventually sign for Kevin Keegan's Newcastle United in a reported £150,000 deal. It was a deal that left O'Neill unhappy. There were also rumours of bids for defender Jason Cousins and midfielder Dave Carroll. Signings confirmed before the start of the season included Colchester United midfielder Nicky Smith. The 25 year old joined Wanderers in time for a four day visit to Germany and Holland to play a Combined Services side and Romanian touring team, Mideas. However, Smith would leave before the start of the regular season after he claimed he couldn't afford the upheaval of moving to High Wycombe.
Confirmation of O'Neill agreeing a new deal with the Wanderers came on Wedneday 27th July 1994. O'Neill commented "Iíve had four marvellous years at Wycombe and we havenít stopped climbing yet. Some people thought I was mad to turn down the Forest job last year, but now they know why I stayed. This club is every bit as ambitious as I am." Chairman Beeks added, "Now that we know heís staying we can press ahead with our long-term plans for the club, safe in the knowledge that the playing side is in good hands,"
Wanderers pre-season friendly campaign back in the UK kicked off with a visit to Berkhamsted Town on Thursday 28th July 1994 where Tim Langford gave Wycombe a first-half lead but the hosts equalised five minutes from time when John Pedder curled home. Leicester City, newly promoted to the Premiership, were the visitors to Adams Park on Monday 1st August for another friendly. The appearance of Steve Guppy on the cover of the matchday programme coinceded with the news filtering thorugh of the wingers move to St James Park. The shock news somewhat overshadowed the game where David Lowe's 33rd minute strike was enough to secure a 1-0 victory for the visitors.
Further pre-season games followed at Yeading on Thursday 4th August and Chesham United (lost 1-0) on Saturday 6th August and cuminating with the visit of Chelsea on Wednesday 10th August. The Premier League side, manahed by Glenn Hoddle, fielded a strong side in front of 4,763 crowd. New signing from Watford Paul Furlong gave the visitors the lead after just four minutes and Neil Shipperley added a second on 72 minutes when he lobbed substitute 'keeper Chuck Moussaddik. Wycombe got one back on 84 minutes as the light faded on an evening when Wanderers were out of action due to upgrading work.
The Chelsea game saw the Wanderers debut of new signing Cyrille Regis. The 36 year old joined a free transfer following his release by Wolves and was the only new arrival confirmed prior to the start of the League campaign, Moving away from the Club in the close season saw Wanderers' legend Mark West finally say goodbye to the Club in the summer of 1994 with a move to Slough Town - recently relegated from the Conference to the Isthmian League. Hakan Hayrettin also moved to pastures new, with his best memory at Wycombe being his remarkable winner in the game at Preston in November 1993.
The Football League fixtures released during June gave Wanderers a home meeting with Cambridge United on the opening day (Saturday 13th August 1994) - while the Football League Cup draw would see Wycombe take on Brighton & Hove Albion over two legs.
The Bookies had Wanderers at 8-1 to be promoted and 18-1 to win the Division Two title. The favourites for the title were Birmingham City, Stockport County, Plymouth Argyle and Oxford United. Speaking before the start of the season, O'Neill said "Iíve spent 100 years as a player and five minutes as a manager and I hate pre-season friendlies. Iím glad theyíre over. Saturday against Cambridge is when the real business starts." Wycombeís chances of being promoted for the third season in succession would be hampered by the league structure. Only the champions would be automatically promoted and the next four teams play off for just one extra promotion place. O'Neill concluded, "We might need the fans here more than even they think this season, especially during touchy periods."
All the results from 1994/95, plus links to enhanced match reports as uploaded >>>
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