The big call Portsmouth boss faces as keeper's outstanding Wycombe display ups ante with Manchester City rival

Alex Bass laid down a marker with an outstanding Wycombe display as the Pompey keeper battle intensifies.

By Jordan Cross
Sunday, 14th November 2021, 4:55 am
Updated Sunday, 14th November 2021, 8:45 am

And Danny Cowley admitted he’s found it difficult to deny the academy graduate playing time this season, after opting for Gavin Bazunu between the sticks.

Cowley now has a tough decision to make on who to use against AFC Wimbledon, with Bazunu returning from international duty with Republic of Ireland.

Bass made just his second Pompey league start since the 2020 play-off semi-final defeat to Oxford at Adams Park.

And it proved a brilliant performance from the 23-year-old, as he saved a first-half penalty from Joe Jacobson and then made a string of excellent stops.

Bass excelled in stoppage time with saves out of the top drawer, to deny Sam Vokes and Adebayo Akinfenwa to preserve the three points.

Cowley now knows has has a big call to make on who continues when his side return to Fratton Park.

He said: ‘It’s not easy for Alex to come into a game like this, it was the toughest of games to come into.

Pompey keeper Alex Bass saved a first-half penalty during yesterday's win at Wycombe.

‘I thought he was just magnificent, I’m so pleased for him.

‘It’s absolutely a platform for him, he’s a top keeper.

‘I wake up every morning wanting to improve the players and make them better.

‘Then on a Saturday you have to pick a team - and you can only pick 11.

Read More

Read More
For the latest Pompey news direct to your inbox sign up for our free newsletter

‘He’s missed out and when you get in the way of good players it’s never nice.

‘I’m really pleased for him because he has conducted himself well.

‘When you do that day to day, football has a way of looking after you.

‘The keepers are our strongest department.’

At the other end of the pitch, George Hirst led the line with John Marquis missing through injury.

And the Leicester City loanee followed up his man-of-the-match display against Crystal Palace under-21s with another excellent showing.

The 22-year-old saw David Stockdale pull off an excellent second-half save to deny him a goal on his maiden league start.

But Cowley was delighted with what Hirst offered in terms of a presence to make Pompey effective on the counter attack.

He added: ‘I was really pleased with George.

‘I thought he put his body in and his link play was good.

‘I thought his movement in behind was good and he carried real threat stretching the opposing defence.

‘The goal was a great goal because it starts from Ronan sprinting 90m to recover the ball.

‘You know if you defend well the counter-attacking moments will happen.

‘George was really important to that - I thought the three of them up there were a threat.'

Designed with Pompey fans in mind

Get unlimited access to all The News’ sports coverage without the need for a full subscription. Play-by-plays of every match, in-depth analysis, live blogs and exclusive interviews starting from just £2 per month; that’s just 50p per week - click HERE to subscribe.