Classy Manchester City loanee Gavin Bazunu on battling back from Portsmouth anguish

Gavin Bazunu has lifted the lid on his Pompey anguish – and how he has bounced back to resume his excellent form.

Thursday, 4th November 2021, 6:30 pm
Updated Thursday, 4th November 2021, 8:22 pm

The Manchester City loanee has been an outstanding presence of the Blues since his summer arrival.

However, his selection last month came under unexpected scrutiny following costly mistakes in heavy defeats to Rotherham and Ipswich.

Despite some calling for the Republic of Ireland international’s removal, Danny Cowley stuck by Bazunu.

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Since then the 19-year-old has roared back with typically classy displays as the Blues claimed five points from three games.

And the goalkeeper has revealed the steely mindset behind his impressive comeback.

He told The News: ‘We want to play at times and that can lead to errors.

‘While that’s always disappointing, you’ve just got to focus on the next game because if you continue to live in the past you won’t go anywhere.

Gavin Bazunu has bounced back from recent costly mistakes to star for Pompey. Picture: Joe Pepler

‘We watched clips from the game the next day. It's hard to watch, but important. If you don’t watch it then you’re not learning from it.

‘If an error happens once, it’s acceptable because it’s an honest mistake. But should it happen again, it just shows it’s not learnt.

‘You can’t play safe or play with fear in your mind. If you play with fear you’re bound to make more mistakes – you’ve just got to continue to play with that freedom.

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‘What I’m trying to do is to make sure that any time something goes wrong, I try to address it and rectify it, making sure it doesn’t happen again.

‘The biggest thing for me is, when I make a mistake, I am the first person on me. I don’t care what anyone else says, I set my standards higher than anyone can set them.’

No doubt the 4-0 defeat to Ipswich is particularly painful for Bazunu.

Having been caught in possession for the Tractor Boys’ opener, the third goal went in under his body when he should have done better.

Cue Ipswich fans gloating whenever the ball reached his direction during the match.

Bazunu added: ‘It’s difficult when a mistake happens during the game, but it’s all about not letting me get on top of myself in the match and putting it behind me.

‘You make a mistake in the first minute and there are still 89 minutes to go. If you can subsequently play a perfect game from the second minute onwards then you are able to accept it.

‘Make the mistake but react well to it – and that’s what you see at the top level.

‘People who make mistakes and are able to rebound and perform after that are the ones that can stay at the top level for the longest.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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