If Chris Basham had got his own way, he’d be playing in League One now.
The midfielder was poised to join Chesterfield on loan, and wanted to, but Ian Holloway halted the move going through because he had a feeling Basham might be needed.
Turns out he was right.
The 23-year-old was thrown in at Southampton for only his second league start of the season and his fourth in the last 18 months – and he produced the best display of his Blackpool career, scoring his first goal for the club.
It was a huge relief to the lad himself, who has had something of a nightmare since a big-money move from Bolton in the summer last year.
Basham has found himself a bit-part player and has also had to battle back from a broken leg.
But he hopes there are better times ahead. “I was delighted to start on Saturday and I’m hoping 2012 is going to be a good one,” said the midfielder.
“It has been tough at times and not everything has gone to plan since I joined the club. It has been a bad last 12 months really, and I wanted to go out on loan and get games.
Now I’m glad that didn’t happen. I hope I can get a bit of a run in the team and prove I can do a job.
“It is an exciting time for me now and it is brilliant to be involved in the gaffer’s first-team plans again.
“Getting a goal was a bonus. I tried to get forward when I could and it was a great feeling to get on the scoresheet.
“It is just a pity we couldn’t hold on to our lead because it would have been a great win for us, but a draw at the league leaders is a good result.”
Holloway brought Basham in to counter Southampton’s attacking formation and was delighted with the player’s display.
The manager said: “I felt we had to pay some respect to Southampton and how they play.
“Chris had a specific job to do, though it wasn’t to score to be honest! That was a bonus.
“His main task was to stop (Southampton winger) Adam Lallana getting it and popping up in little pockets. We had identified him as a real threat.
“But Chris did his job brilliantly, so well done to him.
“He also got into the box at the right time, being a spare man in midfield, and it paid off for his goal. No-one was marking him, he headed it in and that was a brilliant moment for him.”
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