Portsmouth keeper's impeccable record ensuring he's staying ahead in No1 battle

He was a surprise selection for Pompey’s opening fixture of 2020.

Thursday, 6th February 2020, 5:30 am
Updated Thursday, 6th February 2020, 5:30 am

But the Blues’ fruitful period with Alex Bass between the posts has made him nigh-on impossible to be dropped.

The Scot had scarcely made an error in his previous 76 appearances, with only one mistake – in the 3-2 win over Rotherham in November – leading to a goal.

Sign up to our Portsmouth FC newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The boss’ only real reason he delivered when pressed on the matter numerous times was that it was a ‘gut feeling’ and goalkeeping is a department he has plenty of faith in.

There wasn’t any real clarity how long Bass would serve as first-choice stopper, either, with the Pompey boss giving nothing away in terms of a timescale.

But as things have subsequently played out, it appears the academy graduate will remain in his berth for the foreseeable future.

Pompey keeper Alex Bass. Picture: Joe Pepler

Bass has been a part of a rearguard that’s helped propel Pompey into the League One play-off places, as well as reach the FA Cup fifth round.

More impressively, Jackett's side have conceded just two league goals and recorded three successive clean sheets following Saturday’s 2-0 win over Sunderland.

In fact, Bass has yet to be on the losing side in 13 appearances this season. He boasts a staggering record of 10 wins and three draws – the highlight a jack-in-the-box display during a 2-2 EFL Trophy draw at Oxford.

Held in the highest regard by the Fratton Park backroom staff and players alike, Bass was rewarded with a new three-and-a-half year deal last month.

Consequently, MacGillivray will have to continue to wait patiently for another opportunity, having been confined to two EFL Trophy outings this year.

It might not be until the semi-final against Exeter on February 18 when he receives his next chance.

The ex-Shrewsbury ace’s frustrations will continue to grow – especially as there’s a chance he’ll be axed from the Scotland squad for next month's break if his situation doesn’t change.

MacGillivray can take solace that he lost his place out of the blue and Jackett could make a similar decision yet again.

But with the Blues’ defence currently stronger than it has been all campaign, such form is making it unfathomable for Bass to be jettisoned.