George stakes his claim for play-off start

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HE DOESN’T expect to play a part in proceedings, but George Baldock says he can’t wait to see Dons in the play-offs, and is urging the city’s football fans to really get behind the club.

Despite making his senior debut against Oldham last Saturday, George - younger brother of Sam - doesn’t expect to play in Dons’ two legs against Peterborough, but thinks they will be two thrilling encounters.

He said: “It’ll be a tasty fixture. They’re a side with a lot of quality - with the likes of Boyd and Mackail-Smith - but we have quality all over the pitch. All I can do is tell the fans to get down there because they’re going to be a great two games,”

The level headed youngster isn’t too worried about missing out on a chance to play in the play-offs though, setting his sights on next season to play a bigger roll in the side.

“I’m realistic,” he said. “I’m sorry for Peter Leven because no-one wishes that on anyone, and to get injured so late on is devastating because he’s such an influential player for us. But I’m being realistic.

“Adam Clayton has played for the likes of Man City and Leeds, so he’ll slot in ahead of me. But I‘ve staked my claim and that is all I can do really. I’m only 18 so just getting in there is a good thing.”

George made his first senior start for Dons at Boundary Park and gave a good account of himself in Karl Robinson’s new-look side. Playing in the centre of the park, he played the defensive midfield roll to a tee, freeing Clayton to create the opening goal for Angelo Balanta to score.

The midfielder said it was a dream come true to have made his debut in a competitive game and to have gave a good account of himself too.

“I’m delighted. Come the start of the season, I never dreamt of playing or starting in a League One game,” he said. “It’s been brilliant to be involved throughout the season, and I felt I did well against Oldham as well so I’m delighted.

“The gaffer demands that the two midfield players be disciplined, and I think that’s what we did. At times, Oldham found it hard to force balls through the midfield and that’s why they had to go over the top and Stuart Searle was there to collect.”

But while ‘the other Baldock’ played the whole game, brother Sam came on with 20 minutes remaining, and the pair combined to set up a scoring opportunity for Daniel Powell.

George said: “We did a little one-two and nearly scored, and the fans started singing for him! But it’s great to play with him, he’s a great player and hopefully he can push on.”

Sam’s introduction, along with Daniel Powell and Charlie Collins towards the end of the game, meant there were six players on the pitch at the final whistle who have come through the academy in Milton Keynes - an incredible feat for a club in just their eighth season.

“The academy has worked wonders,” said George. “There aren’t many League One sides that can boast four academy players, let alone six. They’re doing a great job and all the credit should go to Mike Dove and the academy staff.”