MK Dons striker Sam Baldock says he’s ready to fight for his first team place after returning to the Dons squad from England duty.
But the youngster knows he faces fierce competition for a starting berth in Paul Ince’s first eleven.
Following England’s first round elimination, the 20 year old front-man returned from Egypt to play a 30-minute cameo in last Tuesday’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy win over Southend at Stadiummk.
And having only seen 60 minutes of action in the Three Lions’ three group games against Uruguay, Ghana and Uzbekistan, Baldock is keen to be in the thick of things once again.
Speaking to the Club’s official website, he said:
“I thought I was unlucky not to start a couple of the games in Egypt, but I took a lot from the experience and I’m hoping to bring that into games here.”
“I didn’t feel out of place with players from Academies at Premier League clubs, I felt I was holding my own so that’s given me a lot of confidence.”
“It was nice to come back on Monday and go straight into a game the next night, I think that’s the ideal situation for anyone. To be thrown straight back in was what I wanted and what I needed after three weeks away.”
“It was a fairly open game on Tuesday so I was able to carry the ball a bit. The lads kept finding me in space so I did my best to try and exploit it.”
After scoring 13 goals in 44 appearances for the Dons last term, the current campaign is a significant one for Baldock as he looks to enhance his reputation but he is well aware of the hurdles in front of him including the competition for places amongst striking colleagues Jermaine Easter, Aaron Wilbraham and Jabo Ibehre.
“I built a bit of a reputation last season that I want to advance as much as I can. Not playing won’t do that so, like everyone else, I want to be playing and I want to be scoring goals.”
“I know I’ll have to be patient. First of all I’ve got to work hard to get into the squad because we’re going to have some good players not even able to get on the bench when everyone’s fit. Then I’ve got to win a place in the team and then work hard to get amongst the goals.”
“But I’m ready to work hard and ready to win my place back. We’ve got a big squad and a lot of competition for places all over the pitch. I don’t think there’s one player totally settled in his position, not looking over his shoulder and thinking his place is secure, so it should be good for the team.”