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Powell only too happy to take Cousins gamble
CHRIS Powell says he doesn’t fear the risk of bigger clubs swooping for Jordan Cousins after throwing the youngster into his first team last weekend at Barnsley.
The 19-year-old made a big impression at Oakwell following his half-time introduction for Dale Stephens, scoring on his debut with the Addicks trailing 2-0 and playing a key role as Powell’s men fought back to rescue a share of the spoils from a 2-2 draw.
Cousins, who can play at the back and in the middle of the park, has already represented England at U16, U17 and U18 level and has always been highly regarded in SE7.
But the Valley manager is unconcerned Cousins’ recent emergence on the Championship scene could potentially have Premier League scouts turning up in droves to check out the player.
Powell said: “You can’t wrap him up or hide him.
“People have known about him for years. You are going to have to blood them at some stage and hope they perform, which all of our players have done the young ones.
“You can’t hold back progress, you can’t hold back people picking up the phone and making a bid, you can’t.
“It is a simple fact. You look at Carl Jenkinson, he played eight games and then all of a sudden he has gone.
“You would never have envisaged that would have happened but people see things in players, see traits and think ‘that would be right for us’.
“I hope not, I want all of our players to play for Charlton.”
Powell added: “I want them to play at a good standard for a good football club where they get the coaching and get looked after.
“Then if they have to fly the nest as we’ve seen before, they do.
“It is a fact of life, I think only Chelsea and Man City don’t sell their players.
“Every player has got a price but I really want a squad to build a togetherness to get us through the season.
“Young players will always attract attention but it is just about them handling it, us dealing with it and making sure they are not exposed too much to any other business other than their football, which is what they are paid to do, and then you go from there.
“But you deal with those situations and you have to as a manger and as a football club.
“We have to shield young players from any distractions that take away from what they are good at, which is playing football.”
The manager also confirmed Cousins looks set to feature in Saturday’s Valley encounter with Doncaster.
“I hope so,” said Powell.
“I think he was a little bit surprised when I named the subs last week but that surprise turned into a performance.
“It just goes to show the sort of upbringing they’ve had.
“He is a good player, he is part of the squad and he will have his ups and downs, as all players do. He is mentally very, very good.
“Will he be playing Saturday? I’m sure he will play some part, whether that is from the start or not we will see.”
Johnnie Jackson is unlikely to be back for the Rovers game with the captain’s return more likely to take place in Tuesday’s League Cup trip to Huddersfield.
However, Powell is waiting to see how Stephens, who made way for Cousins last weekend, trains between now and the Doncaster game.
The manager said: “He has missed training since then. He might get outside today or possibly Friday, so it is a bit early to say how he will respond but he has had treatment.
“He is going to come outside with us to begin with and we will see whether he finishes the session or not.
“It is too early to say for Saturday.”
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