Baptiste hits the spot
RELUCTANT goal scorer Alex Baptiste is not promising to become prolific at Wanderers but he does believe a change in luck is just around the corner for Dougie Freedman’s struggling team.
After getting the ball rolling with a superb finish against Derby County on Tuesday night – the defender’s second goal of the campaign – Baptiste reckons the Whites were unfortunate to finish with only a point and drop back to the foot of the Championship table.
The summer signing from Blackpool admits he is surprised to be topping the scoring charts with Darren Pratley and Sanmi Odelusi but wished dearly that his strike had counted towards three points.
“It isn’t something I do regularly but I’ll bet it’s up there with the best I have ever scored.” said the 27-year-old. “And it looks like I am somehow better with my left foot than my right.
“My job for the team is to defend. It’s nice to chip in with one but to be honest, it happened so quickly I don’t think I could talk you through it.
“I am just trying to do my best at the moment and hoping that we can get the rub of the green. If you look at the performances, we deserve more. The lads are giving their all.”
After failing to win any of their first seven games the pressure is high heading into this weekend’s game at Brighton.
Baptiste feels the battling elements shown against Derby will be needed again at the Amex Stadium but many fans would argue that a sharper cutting edge is also necessary if Freedman’s men are going to come back from the South East with three points.
“I definitely didn’t expect us to be where we are, nor did the lads,” he agreed. “Fans are frustrated, so are the lads, but I think we are due a bit of luck.
“No-one wants to be here but we have got another chance now with a massive game against Brighton and we need to go down there, stick together, and get three points.
“They have got a new manager and there was a lot of trouble over the summer with Poyet.
“We have to make this game about us, though, and we have to take the positives out of the Derby game.
“A lot of people might have thought we would crumble after going 2-1 down but we stuck together and got level. We need to take that down to Brighton and hopefully grind out a win.”
To make matters more difficult for Baptiste, his early appearances for Wanderers since his summer move from Bloomfield Road have been spent straddling three different positions in the back four.
Versatility is one of the Midlander’s strengths and one of the chief reasons Freedman wanted to bring him to the club ahead of a string of other Premier League and Championship suitors.
But Baptiste admits the lack of a settled position has made it more difficult to adjust to his new surroundings.
“I suppose I’ve done it my whole career, really, but it is tough,” he said. “Obviously right-back and centre-half are my two main positions but it’s not about me, it’s about the team, and if the gaffer wants to play me I’ll try my best, that’s all I can do.”