600 Not Out for 'Baps'

Alex Baptiste was proud to chalk up the 600th appearance of his career – and mark it with a win.

Baptiste reached the milestone by helping Wanderers beat Rochdale 3-0 to progress to the knock-out stage of the Papa John’s Trophy.

The defender – whose senior debut came with Mansfield Town in April, 2003 – was unaware of his latest landmark.

And at the age of 35 he has no plans to stop yet.

“I don’t really look back but I’m very blessed and very lucky to get to this and still be playing,” said Baptiste, who has added 96 games to his career tally in a Wanderers’ shirt across two different spells with the Whites.

“A lot of managers have put their trust in me. I make mistakes but I give 100 per cent and I think that’s the best thing I can do.

“I am very grateful. It’s been good and hopefully there are a few more to come.

“I feel fit. I’m an honest person. If I know in myself I’m not quite there I’ll call it a day but I feel okay so I’ll keep going and see what happens.

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“I might not be playing every game but I always try my best and give my best for the team and give my experience in whatever I can.

“The gaffer played me and it was good to play and keep the clean sheet and get the win.”

Baptiste, a regular in last season’s League Two promotion success, helped Wanderers secure a first clean sheet in 12 games as they eased past Dale with three first-half goals to complete a 100 per cent record in Group D of the Trophy.

It was also a first win in six games for Ian Evatt’s men who will be looking back it up with another cup success against Stockport County in the first round of the FA Cup on Sunday.

“More importantly it’s good to get a win,” added Baptiste, who has also played for Blackpool, Blackburn Rovers, Middlesbrough, Queens Park Rangers and Doncaster Rovers – as well as a handful of clubs on loan – during his prodigious career.

“It was important to get a win and get some confidence back. Onwards and upwards.

“We’ve just had a blip. You’ve got to keep doing what you believe in.

“We went back to the drawing board on Monday and looked at what we’re good at.

“We put some of that into practice last night to give us a bit of confidence for Sunday.”

Watch Alex’s post-match interview HERE

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