Barnsley thwarted in approach for Ainsworth

Wycombe manager Gareth Ainsworth
Wycombe manager Gareth Ainsworth
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BARNSLEY have moved onto alternative targets after Wycombe Wanderers rejected an approach to speak to manager Gareth Ainsworth about the vacant head coaching role at Oakwell.

Former QPR midfielder Ainsworth, 44, had been targetted as a candidate to replace Paul Heckingbottom, with the Reds intent on making an appointment ahead of Tuesday’s vital home game with Burton Albion.

St Mirren manager Jack Ross has also been strongly linked with the post, while reports in Wales have suggested that the Reds have approached Swansea City to speak with their highly-regarded under-23 boss Cameron Toshack.

Toshack, 47 – an ex-Swansea, Bristol City and Cardiff player – helped the Swans senior academy side to the Premier League Two title last season and an impressive first year at the highest level of age-grade football, competing alongside the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City.

Toshack, son of former Wales manager John, assisted Leon Britton during his caretaker spell in charge of the Swans ahead of Carlos Carvalhal’s appointment at the end of 2018.

Toshack has also gained experience working under his father John, the former Wales manager and Liverpool striker, during his time in charge of the Macedonia national team.

The Welshman has been influential in the development of a number of young players at the Liberty Stadium including Oli McBurnie, who recently joined Barnsley on loan for the rest of the season on the final day of the January transfer window.

Meanwhile, the Reds’ attempt to sound out Ainsworth about the head coaching role was quickly rebuffed by Wycombe.

Ainsworth, who has been at the Adams Park helm since November 2012, was awarded League Two manager of the month award for January and the Chairboys are currently in third place in League Two.

Wanderers’ sporting director Andrew Howard said: “Gareth is under contract with us and continues to do an outstanding job, and therefore we are fully focused on continuing the progress we are making with him in charge.”

Barnsley are third from bottom in the Championship and have won just one match in their last 17 games in all competitions.