‘I didn’t want to change a win­ning com­bi­na­tion’

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - SPORT -

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:

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