‘I didn’t want to change a winning combination’
AARON Pierre was only benched at Luton at the weekend as Wycombe boss Gareth Ainsworth wanted to keep together the side which demolished Northampton Town in midweek, writes Tim Street.
There was speculation as to whether the centre back was left out due to not being in the right frame of mind after a frantic deadline day, in which Wycombe turned down two bids for him.
In the event, Will de Havilland kept his place alongside Anthony Stewart in the back four, but after Wycombe shipped four goals at Kenilworth Road, Ainsworth admitted it was a no-win situation.
He said: “We lose with Pierre in the team and we shouldn’t have changed a winning team – we lose with Pierre on the bench and we should have played him – who’d be a football manager?
“Everyone will have their views. If you’d asked the fans before the game if he should have played they would have been split – ask them after the game and we should have played him. But that’s football, and I’ve got to put up with that.
“I thought the team from Tuesday night deserved to keep their shirts and anyone who was at that game would agree. Alex Revell and JJ Hooper are two good strikers and we didn’t give them a shot. You keep a League One side at bay with their best strikers on the pitch, you’re going to play them again. It’s dificult to justify Anthony and Will after today, but they were fantastic midweek.”
Turning down the bids was a risky move for cash-strapped Wycombe, especially since Pierre’s contract is up next summer and he could walk for nothing.
But while he was in a no-win situation against Luton, Ainsworth believes having Pierre in the side at least until the next transfer window opens is a definite win-win.
He added: “Of course Aaron will want to improve his career.
“He knows he’s in the last year of his contract now, it’s not like he is trapped in a five year deal, and Janaury will be a big month for him.
“If an unbelievable bid comes in for one of our players it’s hard to ignore, but the decision we made was we couldn’t replace Aaron, and that’s why he’s still here.
“He’s definitely in the right frame of mind, maybe even more so as he will want the best possible club if he moves on.
“He will want to attract the best possible club he can, so it’s a winwin.
“Aaron’s been through a lot this week, but he knows where he is now. He’s a patient boy with a smile on his face – you speak to him and he’s fine.”
Aaron Pierre Benched: