CHRIS Basham says he’s desperate to win his place back in Blackpool’s starting 11.
The midfielder was suspended for Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Crystal Palace after picking up five yellow cards.
Until then, the 24-year-old had featured in all seven games since Ian Holloway’s departure, and he wants his spot back for the Lancashire derby against Blackburn on Saturday.
Basham said: “I’m desperate to get back in the team as soon as possible. I feel part of the team now. Missing Saturday’s game was a nightmare, especially with it being against our former manager.
“I was down in the dumps when I got suspended but I’m ready to go again.
“Hopefully I can get myself back in and pick up from where I left off.”
Basham had not played all season under Holloway but was recalled to the starting line-up by caretaker boss Steve Thompson for last month’s win at Sheffield Wednesday.
He repaid the faith with a man-of-the-match display and has been in the side ever since. But Basham is the first to admit he hadn’t seen his big chance coming.
“If I’m honest, I didn’t expect it,” he revealed. “I just had to keep myself going and keep working hard.
“Playing in the development squad was something I didn’t want to be doing at my age. I knew I was good enough to play first-team football and it’s been brilliant to get my chance.
“Thommo put faith in me and chucked me in, and I haven’t looked back since. I always go out there and give 100 per cent, no matter what.”
Basham picked up his fifth yellow card in six starts at Peterborough, which resulted in a one-match ban.
But the midfielder said that’s part of his game.
“I think it’s just enthusiasm to get the ball. The lads realise that I’m a tackler, I’m a battler. I’m going to pick up bookings with the way I play.
“I was aiming to get through December without a suspension but I didn’t manage it. I try my best not to get booked but I just want to win the ball all the time.”
The Seasiders are anticipating a big crowd for Saturday’s Bloomfield Road derby, and while much has been said about the state of the pitch, Basham feels Pool will just have to cope with it.
“We’ve spoken about our home form. We have to forget the pitch – it’s the same for both teams,” he said.
“How can teams come and beat us at home? We really want to sort the home form out. Hopefully the fans will get behind us over the Christmas period.
“I don’t think Crystal Palace are any better than us and they are second in the league, so we want to get a good run going and see where we end up.”
Basham is yet to open his goalscoring account for the season, but if it does so against Rovers don’t expect him to copy Nouha Dicko’s topless celebration from Palace.
He joked: “No-one else in the team would have bothered with that celebration, Dicko has the body to pull it off! I was really happy for the lads on Saturday. To get the draw and keep the undefeated run going was great.
“We looked so comfortable when we took the lead but we knew they’d have a spell in the game. To come back and get a point in the end was brilliant.”