Aiming for the Top
JOSE Baxter has lofty ambitions for his stay at Home Park.
Despite having only signed an initial six-month deal, which, by his own admission, he would “love” to extend, Jose wants to end this Sky Bet League One campaign with a championship medal, as well as reaching double-figures in goals and assists.
“Promotion is a given. We want to win the league, we don’t want to come second or third, we want to win it,” said Baxter. “For me, personally, I want to get to double figures in goals, double figures in assists, and to be the fittest I’ve ever been.”
That might seem bullish, but it is perhaps an indication of how high standards are driven from inside the dressing room, particularly in the midfield, where the Greens enjoy almost an embarrassment of riches at this level.
Simply put, if Baxter does not achieve stats like those outlined above, he will likely find himself outside of the starting eleven; with players like Danny Mayor, Conor Grant, Antoni Sarcevic and new signing George Cooper competing for minutes in the engine room. Jose is not daunted by that prospect, pointing out, instead, that successful teams all have depth to rely on.
“That’s what we want,” said Jose, commenting on squad depth. “That’s what makes successful teams. I saw that [Jose] Mourinho said the other day that he thinks the Man City ‘B team’ could win the league.
“That’s what it takes to get to the top. I’m not saying we’re Man City, by the way, but we want to get to that competitive edge where you could play anyone, they know what’s needed, and can all do a job.
“Through the season, you’ll have little bits and pick up injuries. When you’ve got players at a top-class level who can step in and do the same jobs – it’s a headache for the manager, but it’s great to be in a dressing room full of talented lads.”