Skipper | It Would Mean Everything To Us

Santos celebration Barnsley

Ricardo Almeida Santos admits going up would mean everything as he tries to lead the Whites to another promotion.

Santos is one of three survivors from the squad that boss Ian Evatt guided up from League Two three years ago.

And the Wanderers’ skipper is determined to share another success with his current team-mates and the 30,000-plus fans who will fill the east side of Wembley for Saturday’s League One play-off final against Oxford United.

“Everyone is excited. Everything's looking positive and we just can't wait for Saturday to get here and the game to get started,” said Almeida Santos, who has made 173 appearances for Wanderers since becoming one of Evatt’s first signings for the club in August, 2020.

“It would mean everything to us. We've worked so hard for this. We would have liked to have got the autos (automatic places) but this is another way to get promoted. Hopefully we can go there and get it done.


“I can imagine for the play-off final on Saturday the support is going to be incredible and hopefully we can get the job done for them.”
Ricardo Almeida Santos

“The fans have been through a lot since I've been here. Every year we have been improving and hopefully this year we can get in the Championship for them.

“Their support throughout the whole season has been great. At the Barnsley game they were amazing from minute-one and at the Papa John's Trophy final last season they were unbelievable.

“I can imagine for the play-off final on Saturday it's going to be incredible and hopefully we can get the job done for them.”

Prior to beating Barnsley in the semi-finals, Wanderers lost just one of their last 12 league games of the regular season in a run which included a 5-0 home win over Oxford.

The O's recovered from that set-back to lose just once themselves ahead of their play-off semi-final victory over Peterborough.


Santos action Oxford

And Almeida Santos knows Wanderers will need to be at their best to secure a victory which would continue an impressive climb back from the foot of the EFL. 

“We're not going into the game thinking we've already beaten them 5-0,” insisted the Whites’ defensive talisman. “That game has gone now. This is a one-off game and it's going to be a completely different game.

“They are a decent side so we will have to bring our ‘A’ game and we’ll have to play well to win. Ultimately it just comes down to us and we've just got to focus on ourselves and bring the best version of us.

“We went through a little blip but for the majority of the season we've been consistent. When we play to our best I don't think there's a team that can stop us in this league so we have to focus on that, bring our ‘A’ game, work hard and hopefully get the job done.”

Watch the captain’s full pre-match interview on Wanderers TV HERE

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