Wycombe Wanderers boss Gareth Ainsworth is at a loss as to how Jason McCarthy is not playing at a higher level after his free-kick secured a 1-0 win over Walsall.
The defender’s set-piece moved Ainsworth’s men four points out of the relegation zone and left the Saddlers four points adrift of safety.
Ainsworth was full of praise for McCarthy, who enjoyed a loan spell at Walsall during his Southampton days, and the rest of his squad for their performances in a close encounter at Adams Park.
“All the hard work that we’ve put into this game today has paid off. It’s a fabulous free-kick, from a fabulous player,” said the Chairboys boss.
“How he’s playing in League One is a mystery to me but we’ve got him – what a player he is and what a time to step up against his old club.
“I’m so proud of the boys’ efforts today. We just had a bit of a rough time with the rub of the green.
“It’s not about luck, we’ve had some rough decisions and some rough things go against us.
“We’ve got two games to go now and we’ve got to perform like we’ve done today.
“I know (AFC Wimbledon manager) Wally Downes was here today and they’re at Luton tomorrow night so we’ll be Luton fans tomorrow night won’t we?
“I want to stay up by deserving to stay up, and performances like that will definitely go a long way.”
Meanwhile Walsall caretaker boss Martin O’Connor has reminded his players that if they are not up for the fight, they can come and tell him they do not to want to play in the club’s two remaining fixtures.
“I have just said that the door will be open this week for anybody who doesn’t fancy playing against Peterborough or Shrewsbury,” he said.
“I’ve also just said to the boys that I’ll be there next Saturday. And I’ll be there when we train. I’ll be there for those games.
“For me it’s sad that this is the situation Walsall Football Club find themselves in.
“I’ve said to the boys that they have to be proud to wear any shirt, wherever they go on next season, they have to put in bigger performances than they have in the last two or three months.
“Our game plan was to stay in the game and try and change it up with what we’ve got.
“This performance shows the lack of quality we have offensively and just the desire to create something. We’ll take stock and I’m sure the club will take stock, and things will happen.”