Nothing but promotion on Pool star’s mind

Alex Baptiste

Alex Baptiste

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ALEX Baptiste says automatic promotion is his only aim this season.

The defender believes the disappointment of missing out in last season’s play-offs has left the squad stronger than ever.

And for the former Mansfield man, another trip to Wembley won’t be good enough.

“Going so close in May, we have to go for promotion this year. That’s the only way I’m looking at it,” he said.

“I think the final will help us mentally as we know what it’s like now to be so close and fall one step short.

“So with our squad and the experience we’ve gained, the top two has to be our aim.”

The Seasiders report back to work on Monday for the start of their pre-season training.

And the 26-year-old can’t wait to get started.

He said: “We’ve had a decent break off, but I’ve seen some of the lads and we are all bored now and can’t wait to get back into it.

“When the Euros were on, I missed not playing football and since then I’ve been waiting for the start of pre-season.

“We all needed a break and to get away after what happened at the end of the season, but now the fixtures are out, we can’t wait.

“We need to get last season out of our systems, and everyone is looking forward to putting things right.”

The summer has been a quiet one at Bloomfield Road so far, with manager Ian Holloway yet to make a signing.

It makes a change for the Seasiders who have been used to huge upheavel during the close season in recent years.

And with no promotion, relegation or major players leaving the club, Baptiste thinks Pool are in good stead for the coming season.

“It’s the first summer since I came to the club there hasn’t been big drama,” he said.

“It’s really good. We have a consistent squad, we know each other inside out and it can only be good for us.

“Hopefully we can get one or two new lads in and kick on from there.

“Last summer it wasn’t a great time for the club. A lot of the players and characters around the dressing room left and it was very tough.

“This summer is totally different. Apart from Stephen Dobbie, we have the starting 11 back.

“If we can carry on the form from the end of last season into this, then hopefully we are in for a good year.”