Portsmouth goalkeeper Alex Bass details why he's the perfect candidate to replace Manchester City loanee Gavin Bazunu after working with ex-Stoke and Southampton boss Mark Hughes at Bradford

It was the factor that allowed Gavin Bazunu to pip Alex Bass to become Pompey’s first-choice keeper last year.

By Sam Cox
Friday, 13th May 2022, 4:55 am

But the latter is adamant he has all the tools to make the 20-year-old’s temporary spell at Fratton Park a distant memory.

That led to 24-year-old Bass joining Bradford on loan in January, after finding his opportunities at PO4 limited.

Sign up to our Portsmouth FC newsletter

Yet it was at Valley Parade where Mark Hughes encouraged the Blues academy producer to play the ball out from the back – after he replaced Derek Adams at the Bantams helm.

And thanks to working with the ex-Stoke boss, Bass has no doubt he can replace the Republic of Ireland international on the south coast, and play the Fratton chief’s style.

Bass told The News: ‘Yeah (I believe I have the qualities to replace Bazunu).

‘It was a tight competition in pre-season and maybe the decision came from the way Danny wanted to play across the season.

Alex Bass has returned to Pompey after his loan spell at Bradford. Picture: Dennis Goodwin

‘You then have to look at how well he played. With the ball at his feet he’s almost like an outfield player and there are things that working with him you pick up on.

‘Even when I was out on loan at Bradford, Mark Hughes was big on trying to keep the ball and building possession. That’s just the way the game is going now.

‘As a goalkeeper, you work on that and always fancy yourself as being an outfield player sometimes in training.

‘If you’re a professional footballer, you’re naturally alright on the ball so hopefully with the experience I’ve had at Bradford at doing it stands me in good stead.’

Many argue that goalkeepers of a certain generation can’t learn to play with their feet.

Indeed, it’s what saw Pep Guardiola disregard then England number one,Joe Hart upon his Manchester City arrival in 2016.

But Bass has rubbished such thinking, and is sure he can add it to his game.

He added: ‘It’s like anything, if you work hard at something, you’ll naturally become quite good at it.

‘Every training session, you tend to work on getting the ball down and playing it with your feet, passing it into goals and little things so you’re not alienated with the ball at your feet in games – even in the warm-ups.

‘It’s definitely something I think you can work on and become better at.’