Pool midfielder on ‘wild’ fixtures

Chris Basham
Chris Basham
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CHRIS Basham has labelled the Championship fixture list “wild” but says he can’t wait to get stuck into it.

The midfielder is determined to prove he is worth the £1m the Seasiders splashed out on him last summer by helping the club bounce back to the top flight.

Basham’s first season at Bloomfield Road was a major disappointment as a broken leg halted him in his tracks.

But the 22-year-old did well during his brief time on the pitch – particularly on his one Premier League start at Aston Villa in November – and is desperate to show what he is made of, now he is fully over his injury nightmare.

That means performing well in the Championship ... though he’ll have to so more often than he expected.

“This is the first time I’ve ever looked at Championship fixtures because I’ve not been in this league before,” Basham said after yesterday’s first pre-season training session.

“When I saw all those Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday games, it was a bit wild but I am looking forward to it and hopefully my body can withstand that kind of pressure.

“Everybody talks how difficult the Championship is, so I’m looking forward to finding out.

“The gaffer spoke to us on Monday and told us it would be a tough season.

“Every season is tough, but hopefully we can prove how good we are and why we were a Premier League club last season.”

Basham is so keen to hit top form that he has dedicated his summer to keeping fit.

Even when he went on holiday, he chose a hotel with a gym attached. And forget sunbathing on the beach – you were more likely to find Basham running up and down it in his bid to be a first-team regular next season.

He added: “This is the fourth time I’ve reported back for pre-season training at a club and it is by far the most excited I’ve been because this is a fresh start for me.

“I am looking forward to getting back and to being fighting fit for the first game against Hull (on Friday, August 5).

“Last season ended very early for me. The lads were playing in the Premier League but by the time I got fully fit it was too late.

“There is no doubt that I need to have a good season and that is why I am so excited about it. I know what I am capable of, so it’s all about putting my boots on and showing everyone what I can do.”