UPDATE: Portsmouth boss' verdict on keeper's future after Bradford City loan exit and arrival of Crystal Palace man

Danny Cowley will make the decision over whether Alex Bass is his long-term No1 at the end of the season.

By Jordan Cross
Sunday, 30th January 2022, 12:00 pm

The Pompey boss will keep a close eye on his keeper’s progress at Bradford over the remainder of the campaign, with a view to deciding the path forward for the academy graduate.

Bass has left for the League Two side on a temporary basis, after being restricted to just two League One starts this term amid seven outings.

The 23-year-old has found himself behind Republic of Ireland international Gavin Bazunu, who has produced excellent form this term.

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Bass’ contract runs until the summer of 2023, although it remains to be seen if Cowley views him as Bazunu’s successor when he returns to parent club Manchester City.

There’s little doubt the man who’s made 39 senior appearances since his 2016 debut has the talent to operate at third-tier level, though it’s not clear if Cowley sees Bass chiming with his game idea which places so much emphasis on his keeper having ball-playing ability.

Cowley did suggest Bass has been unfortunate not to get more football under his belt this term.

He said: ‘We’re so pleased to get Alex out playing football.

Alex Bass

‘His attitude and work ethic has been outstanding.

‘It’s been such a frustrating time for him.

‘He had a double leg break through no fault of his own.

‘He did well, came back at the start of the season and was really unfortunate to lose his place to one of the best, young keepers certainly in this country if not the world.

‘We wanted to get him out playing and he’s going to really benefit from playing.

‘He’s going to play regularly and that’s what he needs. Then off the back of this experience of 20 games we’ll all be in a better place to make the next decision.’

Things didn’t go so well yesterday as Crawley picked up a late 2-1 win at Valley Parade, as boss Derek Adams bemoaned the goals his side conceded.

Cowley has no doubt the coming months are a big period in the keeper’s career.

He added: ‘I think in football you are only as good as your last game.

‘So the fact he has 20 games in front of him is brilliant for Alex, especially as he’s been so short of football in recent times.

‘It’s exciting. We have Gavin, Alex, young Ollie coming in and under that Toby Steward. It’s probably our strongest department at the moment.’

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