Sheffield United: Brave star makes heartfelt pledge

Alex Baptiste has vowed he will not give up on a play-off place 
�2016 Sport Image all rights reserved
Alex Baptiste has vowed he will not give up on a play-off place �2016 Sport Image all rights reserved
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Alex Baptiste has warned Sheffield United’s rivals he will fight tooth and nail to ensure his season from hell finishes on a positive note by helping Nigel Adkins’ team reach the League One play-offs.

And the defender, signed on emergency loan from Middlesbrough earlier this month, told The Star his experiences at former club Blackpool demonstrate why it would be a mistake to rubbish their top six hopes.

Sheffield United manager Nigel Adkins runs the rule over Baptiste 
�2016 Sport Image all rights reserved

Sheffield United manager Nigel Adkins runs the rule over Baptiste �2016 Sport Image all rights reserved

Baptiste, who has made only two appearances this term after suffering a horrific leg injury on the eve of the present campaign, was a member of the squad which delivered top-flight football to Bloomfield Road in 2010.

“I haven’t come here just to make the numbers up,” he said. “I’ve had a tough six months, I ain’t going out this season like that. It’s going to be all guns blazing.

“There’s a lot of pent up frustration and I want to take it out in the right way. I know what it takes to grind and dig things out. We’re not a million miles off so we’ve still got a great chance.”

Baptiste, who returned to training with Middlesbrough six weeks before joining United, added: “I’m not going to lie, mentally getting over the injury was tough. I remember looking down at my leg when it happened and thinking ‘what’s going on there? That doesn’t look good.’ But, now I have got over it, psychologically I’m much stronger now.”

Alex Baptiste, left, in action for old club Bolton Wanderers against one of his new team mates Martyn Woolford

Alex Baptiste, left, in action for old club Bolton Wanderers against one of his new team mates Martyn Woolford

United enter Saturday’s game against Oldham Athletic 12th in the table and trailing sixth-placed Barnsley by six points.

Baptiste said: “Don’t ever write anyone off. We were in same position at Blackpool, didn’t look like going up and then went on an amazing run and got in the play-offs with momentum.

“We were favourites to go down at the start (of the season) but we won them and went-up. A lot of people will be writing us off here now but one win leads to another.”