Fair fight - Danny Cowley reveals Manchester City cannot interfere in Gavin Bazunu's Portsmouth selection

Danny Cowley declared Pompey’s goalkeeping battle a ‘fair fight’ and insisted: Manchester City will not influence my selection.

Wednesday, 7th July 2021, 4:55 am
Updated Wednesday, 7th July 2021, 8:48 am

Last week’s arrival of Gavin Bazunu from the Premier League champions sets up an intriguing fight with Alex Bass.

Bass is now fit again after breaking the same leg twice during the second half of last season.

A relaxed Cowley is content to let the highly-regarded young keepers scrap it out among themselves to be the Blues’ number one in the campaign ahead.

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What’s more, he is adamant he is under no instructions or stipulations from Manchester City to choose the Republic of Ireland international Bazunu.

Pompey’s head coach told The News: ‘There are no ratchets in the deal.

‘I think historically when you sign young players there are certain ratchets in a deal – which we wouldn’t want to sign.

‘For example, if you didn’t play the player then you’d have to pay X amount of money on top of what their weekly wage was. Although I think a new Fifa regulation has now stopped that happening.

Danny Cowley is adamant Manchester City won't influence the selection of Gavin Bazunu in his first-team fight with Alex Bass. Picture: Brian Lawless/PA Wire.
Danny Cowley is adamant Manchester City won't influence the selection of Gavin Bazunu in his first-team fight with Alex Bass. Picture: Brian Lawless/PA Wire.

‘We see it as a fair fight between Gavin and Alex.

‘I look at both goalkeepers, they are outstanding young players, I think they are two of the best young goalkeepers in Europe.

‘So we are delighted to have them both with us and we’re looking forward to them fighting it out for the number one spot.

‘They are young goalkeepers with outstanding potential, they have qualities we like.

‘I wouldn’t want to put too much pressure on them, they are young goalies, they will make mistakes, as all young people do.

‘But they are humble, they want to learn, they want to improve. If and when they do make a mistake, they will learn from it and get better.’

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Cowley will assess the pair during pre-season training – and a friendly programme which kicks off today.

They will then play in front of supporters at Westleigh Park on Saturday for the traditional pre-season match at the Hawks.

Indeed, throughout the build-up to the League One launch, Cowley will be scrutinising the duo at every opportunity.

He added: ‘We judge all the players every single day in training, everything is assessed, everything is analysed.

‘Every day we watch training back and give players a mark out of 10. In training there is competition day and we know how many games they’ve won throughout the season, all of their GPS is analysed, the stats are taken in games.

‘It’s the Big Brother house, they are watched in everything!

‘And, ultimately, it is for their benefit. We just want to help them be the best that they can.’

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