Danny Cowley explains reasons behind Portsmouth starting XI absence of Sunderland recruit Denver Hume

Danny Cowley is priming Denver Hume to be unleashed as a Pompey regular next season.

Friday, 8th April 2022, 4:55 am

Curiously, the £200,000 January signing from Sunderland has started just one of the Blues’ last six matches.

Cowley has revealed a back problem ruled him out of Tuesday night’s 1-1 draw at Bolton, although he is expected to be available for Cheltenham tomorrow.

Regardless, Connor Ogilvie has of late been preferred at left wing-back, while at the University of Bolton Stadium featured at left-back.

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Pompey’s head coach, however, is adamant Hume remains an integral part of his side moving forward.

And he anticipates the Fratton faithful seeing the 23-year-old fully up to speed next season

Cowley told The News: ‘Denver unfortunately missed a little period during the international break with a stiff back. He trained the day before Bolton, but hadn’t trained leading up to that.

‘He’s a young player we see as the future of this football club and, as with all young players, there are areas of their game you’re trying to develop and trying to set them up to have success.

January recruit Denver Hume has started just one of Pompey's last six matches. Picture: Malcolm Bryce

‘We love Denver’s athleticism, his speed on the attack, he is very good in a one-v-one moment, his combination play is very, very good.

‘There are still areas of his game we are working on defensively with him. Like a lot of our young players, there are always adds-on we try to develop.

‘It was always long-term with Denver. With a lot of our young players, we are signing them for the future.

‘It’s very hard for Portsmouth Football Club to sign young players that are instantly ready to come into the team because you need significant money to do that. Normally those young players are only available on loan.

‘So with the young players we do sign permanently, we tend to have to develop them to be in a position to play in the team.

‘Don’t get me wrong, Denver is ready to play now and he has played some games now. We’re certainly hopeful he will play on Saturday, he would have played on at Bolton but for his back injury.

‘He was excellent at Shrewsbury in February, putting in 26 crosses that night, but we are definitely looking at next season.’

Hume has totalled nine appearances since his Fratton Park arrival at the tail-end of the January window.

They include seven starts, largely at left wing-back, as he settles into life on the south coast.

Cowley added: ‘Denver’s a young player who wants to play, they all want to play, we wouldn't want it any other way.

‘He certainly understands where he is at and what we are trying to do.

‘Denver’s a great kid, he wants to do well, he wants to improve, ultimately he wants to get better – and we are all working on the aspects of his game that will allow him to achieve that.’