Baxter | We All Want The Same Thing

Nathan Baxter save Barnsley

Nathan Baxter is determined to make the most of the play-off pathway as Wanderers bid to make it through the League One semi-finals, writes Pete Oliver.

The Whites face Barnsley tonight (Tuesday) with a 3-1 lead from the first leg and a place at Wembley awaiting the winners.

And after missing out on an automatic promotion berth by a solitary spot, Baxter hopes Wanderers can secure their progress and keep alive the prospect of reaching the Championship via the knock-out route.  

“I don't think anyone who signed for this club in the last window or two signed to play long-term in this division. That's not our aim, although that's not to say it's a given because it's shown it's not a given,” said the goalkeeper who joined the Whites from Chelsea last summer following a loan spell in the second tier with Hull City.

“But we are all down to earth and we're all desperate to achieve it. Collectively we all want the same thing, supporters, staff, players, and we're just going to work really hard on Tuesday night and give everything we can. Barnsley will be coming to try and spoil the party and we've just got to make sure we stay calm and do our job.


Evatt Baxter Barnsley

“I think every year when you watch the play-offs you always want to be part of it. You always want to get to Wembley. That's just the way it is. It's accepted that if you do go up by that way it's the best way to do it. You never want to set up to do it like that, but we are in this situation now and we know it will be a special moment for all of us as individuals and more importantly for the supporters.

“We know we want to go into the Championship, but I think it's really important that we just focus on tonight. Before the first game me and the lads weren't thinking about the second leg, we were just thinking about that one game and this is no different. And if we just focus on tonight what will happen after that will take care of itself.”

Baxter played a key role in Wanderers’ first-leg win at Oakwell, with a magnificent save from an Adam Phillips' header after Barnsley had pulled a goal back with 15 minutes to go.

Randell Williams then followed up a Dion Charles’ double to secure a two-goal lead to bring back to the Toughsheet Community Stadium.

But Baxter insists it will be a team effort that’s needed to try and complete an aggregate victory and back up an impressive performance in South Yorkshire.


"We want to play really well and I think we did play well on Friday, but the most important thing is the result and that we progress."
Nathan Baxter

“You put a lot into games, so it's important you enjoy the fact that we won the game,” added Baxter. “But it is only half-time and it's really important that we re-focus and go again on Tuesday.

“It was a really nice moment for me to make a big save in an important moment but, ultimately, I don't think the play-offs is about individual performances. If Dion goes and scores a hat-trick or Rico makes a game-winning block I don't think it's about those particular moments.

“It's just about winning the game. We want to play really well and I think we did play well on Friday, but the most important thing is the result and that we progress.

“I think it helps that lots of these lads have played in a play-off campaign before and lots have played in a huge game at Wembley (in the EFL Trophy), so I don't think it's going to faze anyone. 

“We love playing in big games like that, so it's really important that we turn up and play the way we know we can and the way we did on Friday night. We’ll just approach it like a normal game. The game starts at 0-0 and if we approach it like that then we'll have every chance.”

Watch Nathan's full pre-match interview on Wanderers TV HERE

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