No booze for Baldock as he looks to earn his spot

Pic: Lee Scriven

Pic: Lee Scriven

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George Baldock has given his man-of-the-match bottle of champagne to his mum after he vowed not to drink this season in a bid to hold down a starting spot.

The 20-year-old was the standout player on the right flank in the 1-0 victory over Crewe on Saturday, and looked equally impressive against Northampton last Tuesday.

Baldock has made just 11 appearances for Dons since bursting on to the scene in 2009, but has been farmed out on loan to Tamworth and Icelandic club IBV.

But now back in the fold, Baldock admitted he’s keen to hold down a starting place, even if it means he doesn’t get to taste the bubbly for a year.

He said: “I’m trying to go a season without drinking. I’m on the wagon, I’m reformed!

“I wasn’t too bad before to be honest. I might have the odd one with my friends. I can easily go out with my friends and not drink, I know a lot of people find that hard.”

As one of Robinson’s young charges to have made an impact on the side this season, Baldock is delighted to be given a chance to prove himself and feels Dons is the perfect place for young talents to test themselves.

“It’s great. You’ve got to look at the work in the Academy, it’s phenomenal.

“You can see the likes of Dele Alli, and Giorgio Rasulo for England too.

“The manager gives young players the opportunity to go out and play.

“This team is going places, it’s a great club to be part of. The quality of young players in training is ridiculous. It’s an exciting time.”

And while Baldock isn’t looking any further up the line than the next game againt Preston and keeping his place in the team, he admits there’s another game he has half an eye on later this month - the home game against Bristol City, and coming up against his brother Sam.

“I am looking forward to that and I want to keep my place in the team for it!” he said.

“It’ll be an emotional one for my family, and I hope he gets a good reception too.

“If there’s a 50-50 ball there, who knows!”

Baldock knows though that it’ll be hard to keep his place in the team, especially with injured duo Dean Bowditch and Daniel Powell waiting in the wings for him to slip up.

He said: “I’ve put a lot of pressure on myself in the past. But this year, my workload has increased but I’ve taken the pressure off myself.

“I’ve got to keep my head down and keep working hard. As soon as I let my foot off the pedal, I know there are so many people behind me trying to get in the side, and that’s spurring me on.”

His man of the match performance against Crewe was the first of what Baldock hopes to be many.

But he admitted it was hard work in the second half as the visitors battled hard for an equaliser after Patrick Bamford’s opener.

Baldock said: “Crewe were a good team and they put us under a lot of pressure in the second half. I don’t think we played as well as we should have and we demand high standards of ourselves.

“We should have been clear after the first half, but good teams grind out results like that.”