Chris Basham admits he feels as though he owes Blackpool some big performances because of the money they spent on him.
Basham was a costly acquisition ahead of the Seasiders’ Premier League season. But 18 months into his Bloomfield Road stay, he has made only four starts and has suffered injury problems, including a broken leg.
Things are looking much brighter for Basham now though.
He started the recent game at league leaders Southampton – scoring his first goal for the club – and has regularly come off the bench in the last six weeks.
Manager Ian Holloway has made a point of praising the former Bolton man, and admitted Basham was unlucky to miss out against Watford.
The 23-year-old is hoping for a Boxing Day start at Barnsley, and admits he is desperate to make an impact.
Basham, who cost £750,000, said: “The last 18 months have been frustrating.
“I wouldn’t say I’ve been depressed about it, because I am a down-to-earth guy. I work hard and always do my best as I can.
“But it has been difficult, because it was quite a big money move I made to Blackpool, and because of that, you want to make an impact.
“Last year when I came, Charlie Adam and David Vaughan were unbelievable. They are great players -–that’s why one is at Sunderland and the other is at Liverpool now.
“Keith Southern is a great player as well, and we had people on loan, so it was very difficult for me to get in, especially as the team had been playing so well.
“So it has been tough, and there probably has been the odd time over the last 18 months when I’ve thought ‘oh no, I might have made a mistake coming here’.
“But over the last few weeks I’ve felt involved again.
“I’ve been in the 16 and I’ve been coming on as a substitute and making an impact, playing for 10 minutes, and helping us see games through.
“It feels like I am part of it again and it feels really good.
“Starting at Southampton was great, and hopefully the gaffer might be looking at me now and thinking ‘Chris can do a job there for me’.
“I think I proved at Southampton I am a decent player.
“Hopefully I’ll get another chance soon, because the club paid a lot to bring me here, and I want to show them that I am a good player.”
Basham’s preferred role is in the midfield, and that is where he is hoping he can nail down a place.
“Barry Ferguson and Ludovic Sylvestre are quality ball players, and it was really great to play alongside them at Southampton,” he said.
“Because they are so good it gave me a bit of confidence to go forward. I’m not used to doing that as when I come on, I normally go into a defensive shape.
“So it was good to get forward a bit more, and the gaffer said to me that he can see me running into the box and scoring, which I proved I can do at Southampton.
“It is a big few weeks for me now. It is the Christmas period, and I am really happy about that because there are quite a few games.
“I like that and hopefully if I can nail something down, then great. But I am not going to get ahead of myself. I’ve just got to keep working hard and hope the chances come.
“I really enjoy it at Blackpool. The way the team plays is different class, and I want to be part of that.”
>> MATT Gilks has won the club’s Wonga player of the month award for November.
>> TICKETS for the games at Birmingham (New Year’s Eve) and Ipswich (January 14) are on sale from the Seasiders club shop.
Birmingham prices are £23 adults, £14 senior citizens and students aged 19-22, £9 for 13-18-year-olds, and £5 under 13s.
Tickets for Ipswich are £30 adults, £21 senior citizens, students and 16 to 19-year-olds, £10.50 under-16s.
>> FORMER Blackpool midfielder Chris Beech has taken over as caretaker manager at struggling League One side Rochdale.
He has assumed temporary charge following the sacking of Dale manager Steve Eyre, and assistant Frankie Bunn.
Beech’s first match in charge will be the match at Tranmere Rovers on Boxing Day.
>> SEASIDERS’ manager Ian Holloway was at the Hayes v Fleetwood match on Tuesday, running the rule over Blackpool’s FA Cup third round opponents and doing a form-check on Town.