'He was very cross that I wasn’t allowing him to play' - Danny Cowley on why Norwich loanee Gassan Ahadme missed Portsmouth win over Peterborough

Pompey boss Danny Cowley has allayed fears about Gassan Ahadme’s Peterborough absence.

Sunday, 1st August 2021, 4:55 am
Gassan Ahadme missed Pompey's friendly with Peterborough on Saturday with a hip problem. Picture: Nigel Keene/ProSportsImages

The eight-goal striker surprisingly missed Saturday’s friendly against Peterborough

Ryan Tunnicliffe and Ronan Curtis subsequently netted in an impressive 2-0 success over the Championship side.

Cowley afterwards explained the 20-year-old was sidelined for precautionary measures after feeling his hip in training.

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And Ahadme remains in the frame for the August 7 League One opener at Fleetwood.

Cowley told The News: ‘If you’d have asked Gassan, he would have played 90 minutes on Saturday!

‘I like that boy, he is good fun. He was very cross that I wasn’t allowing him to play. I like players that you have to hold back – I don’t like the ones you have to push forward.

‘Gavin (Bazunu) and Gassan are both boys I’ve got to hold back. And I’m okay with that.

‘Gassan’s had a brilliant pre-season, he felt something very, very low level in the hip, we didn’t even scan it, it was just something he could feel.

‘He was desperate to do some extra shooting – as he is every single day – and work on his finishing. I sent him in, he was upset, which I can accept and understand.

‘It’s just a precaution. If it was the last game of the season on Saturday then 100 per cent he would have played.

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‘But it wasn’t – it was the last pre-season game.’

Ahadme has been a revelation since arriving on trial from Norwich, earning him a campaign-long loan move.

Not since John Aloisi in the summer of 1998 has a Pompey player registered so many goals during a pre-season schedule.

The 20-year-old trained on Saturday morning before attending the Fratton Park encounter with Peterborough.

It remains to be seen whether he is involved in Tuesday’s behind-closed doors match at Bournemouth under-21s (4pm).

Cowley added: ‘The boy’s been in great form and is in a great place. He’s not going to lose physical fitness by missing three days.

‘Sometimes you have to make those intelligent decisions.

‘I did feel sorry for the supporters as I knew they would really like to see him against Peterborough, but I’m sure he’ll understand that we were trying to make the right decision.’

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