Why shot-shy Portsmouth's hunt for creativity and goals meant a goalkeeping exit for Alex Bass to Bradford

Pompey require increased creativity to emerge from this goal-scoring malaise, with Michael Jacobs portrayed as the key component.

Monday, 24th January 2022, 6:30 pm

Meanwhile, off the pitch, the ‘creative thinking’ often trumpeted by Danny Cowley and Andy Cullen is well underway.

The approach is designed to reinvigorate Danny Cowley’s playing budget during the final week of January’s transfer window.

Certainly Alex Bass is a fine example of a policy which can be seen as a little off-the-wall.

Sign up to our Portsmouth FC newsletter

Many have questioned the logic of replacing a back-up goalkeeper at a club boasting the third-best defensive record in League One.

Particularly at a time when Pompey’s goal potential desperately requires unlocking, an issue becoming more glaring with each blank fired.

Namely prising open up room within Cowley’s budget to strengthen his outfield options ahead of Monday’s transfer deadline.

Danny Cowley's 'creative thinking' over Alex Bass has boosted room in his playing budget to recruit. Picture: Will Matthews/PA Wire

In January 2020, the home-grown keeper signed a three-and-a-half year contract, coinciding with his toppling of Craig MacGillivray as Pompey’s number one.

Bass remains highly regarded after 41 Blues outings and continues to possess a future on the south coast, irrespective of his Bradford switch.

Read More

Read More
For the latest Pompey news direct to your inbox sign up for our free newsletter

Yet Cowley is prepared to be without the stopper for the remainder of the season – in exchange for boosting his recruitment finances.

Simply put, savings from replacing Bass’ wage with a rookie youngster on a six-month deal can be reallocated elsewhere in his squad rebuild.

For Pompey’s head coach, that can take the form of being able to table greater contract terms for targets – or contributing more towards a transfer fee.

It’s a calculated plan he previously considered in the summer following the capture of Gavin Bazunu on loan from Manchester City to serve as first choice.

The opportunity to bolster the Blues’ playing budget by loaning out Bass has been far from knee-jerk in a January transfer window which traditionally sparks desperate actions.

Bass’ exit leaves just Toby Steward as a potential back-up, a highly-rated 16-year-old in his first year of Academy football, thereby a new number two must be brought into Pompey. Although Bass can be recalled if Bazunu gets injured.

‘And we will be getting a young goalkeeper for the cover that we need.’

Despite some claims, John Marquis hasn’t been replaced by a goalkeeper – and neither have Miguel Azeez, Ellis Harrison, Gassan Ahadme and Paul Downing.

Bass’ short-term exit requires a replacement and, in turn, will provide a financial boost to Cowley as he scours the transfer market.

Now it’s about Pompey utilising it effectively, accompanied by ‘creative thinking’, of course.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

You can support our local team of expert Pompey writers by subscribing here for all the latest news from Fratton Park for 9p a day, thanks to our 30%-off transfer window deal.