CHRIS Basham accepts his first Premier League season at Blackpool has been a bit of a write-off – but he can’t wait to make up for it next term.
The 22-year-old joined in the summer from Bolton for a fee which could rise to £1m.
But his failure to break into the team, followed by a broken leg in a reserve game, meant Basham’s Bloomfield Road career got off to the worst possible start.
He was included in Ian Holloway’s 25-man squad for the second half of the campaign, and although Basham harbours slight hopes of a chance to show what he can do before this season is done, he is concentrating more on proving that he is worth every penny of his transfer fee in 2011-12.
Basham said: “It has been a frustrating season from the word go and breaking my leg was the worst thing that could have happened because I was fighting for a place at a new club.
“The most annoying thing was that I had started at Aston Villa and felt I had done OK. The manager said so but in the very next match I played I broke my leg.
“It is the worst injury I’ve had by a mile and touch wood nothing like that ever happens again. Sometimes I feel it after a game, so it’s all about preparing right and getting used to having a plate in my leg.
“But I am still only 22 and I’ve got plenty of experience in this league from when I was at Bolton, so I need to keep my head up. Hopefully we’ll stay up and everything will be brighter next season.
“That’s my main aim now – to give it a good go pre-season and come back fighting for a first-team spot.”
It is clear talking to Basham that he found it difficult to keep his spirits up after his leg-break in November.
But now he is back and a regular for the reserves – he played in yesterday’s 4-2 home defeat by West Ham – and he can see light at the end of the tunnel.
Basham added: “It has felt good to be back playing again in recent weeks and I’m starting to enjoy my football again.
“We got beaten yesterday but I enjoyed it and felt I did OK.
“It would be nice to get back in the first team set-up before the end of the season but it will be difficult because the lads are still playing really well. We’ve let a few late goals in but the performances have been great.
“To make the odd squad and travel with the boys again would put a good smile on my face, because being young you can get down quite quickly and easily. That has been my main problem really.”