Why Portsmouth boss Kenny Jackett made the shock move to favour young keeper Alex Bass over Scotland's Craig MacGillivray

Alex Bass’ temperament has proved the key to his Pompey first-team emergence.

Thursday, 16th January 2020, 11:45 am
Updated Thursday, 16th January 2020, 2:32 pm

Kenny Jackett revealed he’s been convinced the academy graduate is ready for his first-team chance by his level-headed approach.

And that rather than any errors from Craig MacGillvray has led to the Scotland keeper being usurped between the sticks in 2020.

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But Jackett has been rewarded with a trio of assured performances from Bass to justify his decision.

Despite his relative formative years for a keeper, he explained he was reassured by the 21-year-old’s mentality when making the decision to throw Bass in.

Jackett said: ‘For Craig coming in, he’s been number one for a year-and-a-half. I think he’s missed maybe one game away with Scotland after coming in a free transfer from Shrewsbury. He’s really stepped up for us.

‘But Alex has come through the youth policy and looked ready as well.

Alex Bass. Picture: PinPep Media / Joe Pepler

‘He’s there in his early 20s coming out of the youth team. I think he’s grown in stature and confidence.

‘It’s a good department for me and long may it continue.

‘He’s got a good attitude. Temperament and attitude are big things. They are definitely big things in a goalkeeper, definitely.

‘He has a good temperament. I don’t think too much fazes him and he’s got a level head on his shoulders, despite being young.

Craig MacGillivray and Alex Bass. Picture: PinPep Media/Joe Pepler

‘I think that’s a big thing in his position, particularly if you’re going to play early or young.’

Jackett wouldn’t be drawn on whether he’d had discussions with MacGillivray over the reasons for his omission.

But he made it clear the emphasis isn’t on the shortcomings of the 27-year-old after 82 Pompey appearances.

Jackett added: ‘There is always confidential individual situations which do need discussing, yes.

‘But overall it’s put the club first, put the team first, be a good team-mate and when called upon be ready.

‘Neither keeper has done anything wrong really.

‘I’m really pleased with that department. I think we’ve got two excellent goalkeepers.

‘We had Craig at Walsall and Alex against Wimbledon.

‘Neither will let us down when they play and hopefully they will spur each other on to really good performances.

‘I don’t necessarily think so (there’s a first choice now). ‘I felt it was the right time for Craig to come out of the team but similarly Alex had been pushing. He’s a good keeper as well. So there’s dual reasons.

‘I’m pleased and rate both of them. Whichever one plays and I select at that time, I’ve got confidence in both of them.’