BAPTISTE LAY-OFF WAS A HEART BREAKER
ALEX BAPTISTE is ready to put a heart-breaking injury lay-off behind him by helping Sheffield United fight their way into the League One play-offs.
The 30-year-old joined the Blades on a 93-day emergency loan this week from Championship high-flyers Middlesbrough. He made his debut in Tuesday night’s 1-0 defeat by Burton Albion.
That was Baptiste’s first senior appearance since April of last year, when he featured for Blackburn in an FA Cup defeat to Liverpool.
After joining Middlesbrough in the summer, the former Blackpool defender broke his leg in two places during pre-season and it has been a long road back.
“I have been out for so long I just want to play football,” said Baptiste. “The result was not what we wanted but, from a personal level, it was really pleasing to play 25 minutes.
“When you are out for so long, it is heart-breaking.The
injury was a serious one and this has been a long road back.
“Middlesbrough have been fantastic and I am grateful to Sheffield United for giving me a chance to play. I want to repay that.”
He wants to return United’s faith by ensuring they play their part in the race for promotion to the Championship.
Nigel Adkins’ side began the weekend six places and four points off the top six, but Baptiste believes it is a gap that can be bridged in the next two months.
“The belief is there,” he added.“You only have to look at the league table.
“Two wins on the bounce and you are right back in it. If you can get three or four, then it can take you up to third or fourth.
“If we can grind some results out, there is no reason why we can't get into the playoff places when it matters.”
RETURN: Alex Baptiste