Gethin Jones is confident the Wanderers squad can handle the pressure ahead of Saturday’s clash with Wycombe at the UniBol.

After a tough start at Ipswich, the games aren’t getting any easier as Wycombe make the long journey to the UniBol.

But Jones believes the Whites have proved they can rise to the occasion against the sides who are expected to be up there come the end of the season.

“We’ve worked a lot this pre-season on how we want to exploit teams defensively, the way we press and the way we play,” said the vice-captain.

“We were quite disappointed with Saturday in the end not getting the way we like to play.

“But to come away from there with a point in the end because we had our backs up against the wall the last 15 minutes, we were pleased so we’ll move on to Wycombe.

“We all want to be here to get promoted and we know the pressure is going to come, but towards the back end of last season we dealt with that pressure when we had the big teams coming here.

“If we just play the way we play and know how we can beat teams, then I feel we’ll be alright if we stick to our game and have a good attitude going into games. It’s not going to be easy in any game in this league.”

Jones says the squad is keen to pick up more points against the bigger sides over the coming season and is pleased with the resilience they showed at Portman Road.

The defender reckons they are more comfortable against sides who pose a physical threat compared to last term.

He added: “We played Sunderland and Sheffield Wednesday away last year – even Wigan, where we drew in the end – we thought we could have probably won every single one of those games.

“It is something that we need to work on more. Against the bigger sides last year I don’t think we won many games but on the day we did perform quite well.

“Sunderland at home, that was one of the wins. It is something we really need to do more of this year – at least get a draw or win, don’t lost those games.

“That was one thing that we all said last year that we let ourselves down with a bit - when we went away from home and couldn’t play the way we wanted to play against the tough sides who are quite aggressive and physical.

“But in the end on Saturday we came out with a point and I feel like in previous seasons we may have lost that game, so obviously it’s a positive on our side that we all stuck together and still worked hard on the day.” 

Jones is relishing his role as vice-captain and is delighted with the squad’s attitude and work rate since returning for pre-season.

He admits it was “really tough” but hopes they will reap the rewards as they aim to build on last season’s ninth-place finish.

“Obviously, the club did really well in the window in January,” said the Welshman. “I don’t know what the gaffer and the club’s plans are, if we are going to get any more in. The squad now looks really strong.

“When you come back for pre-season, you still have to impress. I feel like every single lad came back in really good condition and has done well in all the games in pre-season.

“It’s a credit to all the lads really that we have been working hard in the off season to come back and wanting to do well for the club. It has been a different kind of summer but we are really looking forward now.

“The first week in Portugal, I think we covered 65km based on running, training, football and we did a gym session every single day, either upper body or legs.

“I think in previous seasons that I’ve been here we’ve covered about 30 to 35km in the first week, so to get that mileage into the legs in the first week this pre-season was good.

“And obviously when we came back, we had two games a week and still training really hard in between and doing a lot of running. It was a really tough pre-season.”

Wanderers suffered a 2-0 defeat against Wycombe at the UniBol last season after goals from Brandon Hanlan and Jack Grimmer.

“It will be a very tough game again. A very physical side again, they had a very good season last year and their aim this year will be to get promoted,” Jones explained.

“We will just concentrate on ourselves and how we can take our game to them.”