Is there room for more than one George at MK Dons?

George Williams and Robbie Neilson in discussion
George Williams and Robbie Neilson in discussion
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Having more than one capable player for every position is the cause of every manager's selection headache - and MK Dons boss Robbie Neilson is beginning to find that at full back.

With the return of George Baldock expected this weekend for the FA Cup third round game at Brighton on Saturday, Neilson is left with a decision on his hands - what to do with George Williams?

George Baldock

George Baldock

The versatile Williams has started in every game under Neilson, playing at both full back positions as the manager chopped and changed to account for injuries to both Joe Walsh and indeed Baldock.

Both have a pace to burn, love to get forwards, over-lapping wide players and getting crosses in. Both are strong in the tackle, with Williams in particular excellent in the air.

But with fans' favourite Baldock now set to return from his latest setback - a hamstring strain picked up at Gillingham - Neilson is left with a dilemma. With the immovable object that is Dean Lewington occupying one flank, which George does he pick at right back?

"I have to pick a team on the day that will win," said the manager. "Ideally, you have two good players in each position, if you have the finances to do that.

Scott Wootton could feature before the end of the season. Pic: MKDons.com

Scott Wootton could feature before the end of the season. Pic: MKDons.com

"George (Williams) has done really well since he came in, he is a good player, steady, professional and the lads like him. We need more of that type that can push those in front.

"He can play both flanks and at centre half as well if I had to push him in there. I'm really pleased with him.

"George Baldock will be available again (for Brighton), he's trained with us for the couple of days and he's looking sharp. But after a couple of weeks out, I'm not sure whether he'll go straight back in but I expect him to be involved."

While he has an immediate problem at full back, Neilson is left thin on the ground at centre back. On loan Wigan defender Jack Hendry's loan is set to expire after Saturday's game against Brighton, leaving him with just two fit, recognised centre backs. Lewington and indeed Williams could come in as cover for either Joe Walsh or Paul Downing.

It means Neilson is likely to dip into the transfer market this month for cover at centre back, but it may be a loan deal as he awaits on the recovery of forgotten man Scott Wootton.
The 25-year-old made just four appearances for Dons before suffering a cruciate knee ligament injury, but Neilson hopes he may see him back before the end of the campaign, even if for just a handful of games.

"Scott has been working really hard," said Neilson. "I see him every morning and he's pushing hard. He's running now, getting moving and we're trying to push him. But we have to do it within limits because we don't want to overdo it and have him break down. We're desperate to get him back.

"We hope we can get him some game time, but if we don't, he'll have the whole pre-season to get ready. If we could get him a few games, it'd be great, but we have to make sure it's right for him to come back."

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