No hesitation as Portsmouth boss is forced into big change at Wycombe

Danny Cowley has no concerns about turning to Alex Bass as he comes in from the league cold at Wycombe.

Thursday, 11th November 2021, 5:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 11th November 2021, 6:07 pm

And the Pompey boss is adamant he will not have to change the way his team plays, as the academy graduate replaces Republic of Ireland international Gavin Bazunu at Adams Park.

Bass will start just his second league game for his club since the 2020 play-off semi-final against Oxford United, against Gareth Ainsworth’s high-flying side.

The 23-year-old has deputised for Bazunu, who has made a strong impression since coming in on loan from Manchester City this summer.

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Bazunu has brought a ball-playing style to Pompey and operated from a high starting position, with an approach which has been central to how Cowley’s men have played.

The Blues boss is clear the principles will not be changing at Wycombe, with no hesitation about using Bass.

Cowley said: ‘There’s no reservations at all, Alex is a top keeper.

‘The goalkeeping department is the strongest at the club.

Alex Bass is set to start at Wycombe.

‘Alex and Gavin are different keepers. Alex can do some things that Gavin can’t and vice-versa.

‘We play to principles, but the players come in and bring their own personality and can change the dynamic.

‘The principles stay the same but the dynamic changes.

‘For us, we want certain attributes from our goalkeeper and Alex has those attributes. He will just do it slightly differently from Gavin.’

Cowley acknowledged Bass can feel hard done by to have played such little league football over the past couple of seasons.

He impressed in an opening-day start in the 1-0 win at Fleetwood, before Cowley made the decision to make Bazunu first choice in the next league outing against Crewe.

Cowley added: ‘Alex had a frustrating time last season.

‘It was frustrating for him, but he did really well in pre-season and started the season well for us.

‘It was a very difficult conversation to have with him (when he was dropped), and I didn’t really have a reason to give him because he’d done everything well.

‘It was just a decision to make in that week of training. It wasn’t clear, it was a tight decision.

‘He’s responded really well, trained really well and committed fully and been incredibly professional.

‘When a player shows those qualities normally the football gods look after them.’

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