IT WAS TOUGH TO LET COUZ GO
(Thursday 25th April 2002)
Lawrie Sanchez has paid tribute to Jason Cousins following the decision not to renew his contract for the 2002/3 season. Speaking at the recent fans forum Sanchez said "Couz has been a great servant to this Club. If I had eleven people in my First Team with Cousin's attitude every week we would win the League no problem." Sanchez added "It's the toughest decision I've had to make in my time as Manager here. It was tougher than Davey Carroll because with the greatest respect to Carroll I gave him this year as almost thank-you for what he had done previously" But Sanchez admitted the decision came down to finances, the signing of Bristol Rovers defender Andy Thomson and the emergence of Youth Teamer Roger Johnson. Sanchez rates the 28 year old Thomson highly and comparing him to the 31 year old Cousins, Sanchez said "He's a lot taller and better in the air and more mobile than him."
Wycombe bid for Thomson earlier in the season as Sanchez wanted back-up for his decimated defence and the writing was probably already on the wall for Cousins. However, it was Johnson's arrival on the scene that eventually swung the decision to wave goodbye to Cousins after eleven memorable years with Wycombe. Sanchez said "If Roger Johnson hadn't played and just been a reserve like he'd been up to that day, then I'd probably kept Couz as 4th choice". The First Year pro got his chance after injuries, suspensions and international call-ups forced Sanchez's hand. Johnson impressed in his six appearances before being injured and Sanchez rewarded the 18 year old with a three year contract. "The scenario then made Couz 5th choice centre-half. I didn't think it was fair on Couz to have him Captain of the reserves for a year. He needs First Team football and I think allowing him to go will give him the opportunity to get a decent Conference side" added the Wycombe boss.
Although finances were part of the decision, Sanchez said "He wasn't my highest paid players by a million miles and I think he can earn a decent living playing at least Conference football. I explained this to Couz and like a true professional he took it straight on the chin" Sanchez said that Cousins understood the decision and added "He was as disappointed as I fully expected him to be but he thanked me and I wished him all the best and we will fall over backwards to help him with his testimonial"
The testimonial match has now been confimred as against Celtic on 10th or 11th July at Vicarage Road, Watford - See link below for the latest details
Jason Cousins testimonial update
Jason Cousins spotlight and career record
Read all the latest Wycombe news
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