Baps can’t wait for Bloomfield Road return

Alex Baptiste

Alex Baptiste

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Alex Baptiste can’t wait to return to Bloomfield Road tonight.

The defender will face his former side (kick-off 8pm) for the first time since joining Bolton on a free transfer this summer.

While the 27-year-old knows the importance of helping Wanderers to a first Championship win of the season, he’ is also relishing returning to the ground where he enjoyed his best spell as a player.

“It will be great to go back,” he said. “I love all the lads and the fans were different class.

“They were the best years of my career, the highlight without a shadow of doubt. What we achieved will never be beaten. I had a great time and I am looking forward to going back, but more importantly we need the win.”

Baptiste, who captained the Seasiders last season, remains good friends with many at Bloomfield Road and still lives on the Fylde coast.

He keeps a keen eye on Pool’s progress and has been impressed with their start to the season.

“They have been different class,” said the former favourite, who spent five seasons at Pool. “My best mates are there and I speak to them all the time.

“They are flying. The togetherness is unbelievable and they are defending really well. I watched them on Friday and they didn’t look like they would concede, so it is going to be tough.”

Bolton surprisingly find themselves second-bottom after picking up only four points from nine games.

The pre-season promotion favourites are struggling but were boosted by a late equaliser against Yeovil at the Reebok on Saturday.

Baptiste added: “I didn’t expect to be in this position with Bolton.

“We want to be challenging and it is still early doors, but we need to get out of the predicament we are in.

“I have complete faith I made the right decision and we will keep going.

“We have two massive games coming up and we need to get points on the board before the international break.

“You look at the league table and you see where we are, but you want to do well as a person and you want the team to do well. We have got to keep fighting. We create so many chances that one day we are going to stuff a team. If we can keep our togetherness we will be fine.”

Despite his side’s poor start, Baptiste has settled in pretty quickly and is top scorer with three goals.

“It’s not really where I want to be,” he shrugged. “But we had so many chances, one had to go in on Saturday.

“We’d battled back well after the goal. We just have to keep plugging away and it will come. The response showed we are still fighting and that’s a good sign.”