TON UP FOR LAWRIE
(Thursday 7th December 2000)
Lawrie Sanchez will take charge of his 100th competitive game as Wycombe Manager in Sunday's FA Cup tie at Millwall. Sanchez, who was 41 in October, has taken Wycombe from relegation certainties to play-off place contenders since his arrival in February 1999. He signed a new contract earlier this season that ties him to The Wanderers until the end of the 2003/2004 season.
Sanchez is now the longest serving Manager at Wycombe since Martin O'Neill and has a rollercoaster ride since taking the hot seat at Adams. From the high of beating Man City at Maine Road and the last gasp survival game at Lincoln, there where tough times following a period of seven games without a win - culminating in a 4-0 home reverse to Stoke City in November 1999. The new season saw another high reached when a six game unbeaten run took The Wanderers to 2nd place in Division Two - the highest ever placing since joining the Football League in 1993.
An amazing series of injuries to his squad has seen Sanchez juggling the team line-up on a week-to-week basis. Despite these set-backs The Wanderers went into the Christmas programme sitting in 8th place and Sanchez is optimistic about the future. Talking on local radio station 1170am Sanchez said "I'd like to think in the almost two years that Terry Gibson and myself have been here that the Club has gone on an upward trend. We avoided relegation in the first year, last year we consolidated and Sean Devine was one of the leading goalscorers in the League. This year we've pushed on a little bit, we're one point outside the promotion play-off positions with 20 games gone. That coupled with the injuries we've had, especially to Sean, Davey Carroll and Paul Emblen, plus the minor ones, I think we can say the players have tremendously well to get us where we are."
Sanchez has had practically no money to spend during his time at Adams Park, indeed it was the remarkable sale of Keith Scott and the purchase of Sean Devine that is seen by many as the master stroke.
"I've had no money in the time I've been at the Club, in fact I've had to sell players to make the books balance. We've got a new board in place that are very positive and want to take the Club to the next step. I'm hoping that over the course of my time here that some money does become available because at the end of the day you do need money to get out of this division"
With money Sanchez is confident that he can take Wycombe into the First Division for the first time ever, adding "My commitment is to get this Club out of this division and I'm hopeful that in the course of my contract here that we can do that"
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