Baker backs Dons in promotion battle

Carl Baker
Carl Baker

Carl Baker believes Dons have as good a chance as anyone of making a real push for promotion this season.

Baker scored his third goal of the season in the 1-1 draw with Preston North End on Saturday, a result which kept Dons third in League 1, though losing ground to leaders Bristol City and Swindon.

Having been with the club since late September, Baker has seen Dons pick up vital wins against Swindon and Sheffield United amongst others.

And having seen the other title contenders in action too, Baker feels Dons are in good shape to mix it with the leaders.

“I believe we’ve got a really good chance,” he said. “Bristol City are a good side, Preston are a good physical side, Swindon are a good footballing side.

“There are a number of teams flying high at the moment and it’ll make for an interesting finish.

“Hopefully we can keep picking up good points away from home and getting wins at stadium:mk.”

Baker’s first half strike at Deepdale came as a welcome relief as Dons were being put under pressure by a powerful Preston side.

David Martin was the busier of the two goalkeepers for the afternoon, eventually beaten by a Scott Wiseman second half effort to equalise.

But with chances at the end, most notably from Samir Carruthers and Darren Potter, Baker felt Dons could have escaped from Lancashire with all three points, rather than just the one.

He said: “We’re a little bit disappointed because we came here to get three points. Preston are a good side, a physical side and want to play the long ball. Kevin Davies played well and caused us problems.

“After going a goal up, we wanted the three points even more. It’s not a defeat, so we can’t be too hard on ourselves, but the level of expectancy in the group now is that we should be going anywhere and pick up the points.

“The gaffer is a little bit upset with us because we didn’t play our game. When we look back in a few weeks we might look at it as a good point.

“It was 100mph all the time. We wanted to settle down and slow it down, but fair play to Preston, they didn’t let us do that. It’s probably a valuable point come the end of the season.

“It’s the hardest the back four have had to work, and the most Dave (Martin) has had to touch the ball. But when you come to places like Preston and Sheffield United, you know sometimes it’ll be a battle - it’s League 1.

“Samir’s devastated because he thinks he could’ve won it. He did all the hard work with the step over cutting inside.

“Nine times out of 10 in training he’d have put that in the corner, but he shanked it wide. It’s frustrating for us, but all in all a point is a fair result.”