Ipswich v Sheffield United: George Baldock aims to make it a family double

Sheffield United defender George Baldock knows who to ask for advice on how difficult it is to get promoted to the Premier League '“ big brother Sam.

George Baldock: Aims to follow his brother into top flight.
George Baldock: Aims to follow his brother into top flight.

For 28-year-old Sam was part of the Brighton & Hove Albion team who got promoted from the Championship last season.

Now George, 24, is hoping to make it a family double as the Blades hunt down a play-off spot.

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They sit ninth in the table, three points off sixth-placed Middlesbrough, with 11 games remaining ahead of today’s trip to Ipswich Town.

“It has been a brilliant season, but we just want to finish it off,” said wing-back Baldock.

“We have been at the top end of the table the whole season, and we don’t want to falter now. We want to achieve.

“The focus is on picking up as many points as we can and, hopefully, making those play-off positions.”

Brother Sam helped Brighton win automatic promotion last term, but also suffered play-off heartache.

Albion lost to Sheffield Wednesday in the semi-finals two seasons ago, after losing out on second spot to Middlesbrough on goal difference.

“He’s had play-off heartbreak, missed out on promotion on the final day – when second played third,” said George.

“He lost in the play-offs to Sheffield Wednesday, but then had the success last year when they went up.

“I have spoken to him, and he says the Championship is such a tough league, as games come thick and fast.

“There’s no weak teams and you can’t predict anything in the Championship.

“I am my own player, and this team’s different to Brighton. But our ultimate goal is to get out of this division, so it’s nice to talk, with his past experience.

“He hasn’t given me any tips, but has just been chatting about how tough the league is.”

Today’s trip to Portman Road kicks off a big week for the Blades, who have back-to-back home games with Burton Albion and Nottingham Forest.

“We have 11 games to go, so even after these next three games, we still have eight matches to go, 24 points to play for,” explained Baldock.

“The next three games can have a big impact on the season, but I wouldn’t say it’s ‘make or break’.

“These are three massive games and if we do want to achieve, we need to pick up quite a few points.

“I think because of the way we started (the season), expectations have quite rightly gone up.

“It just shows how well we are doing and credit to the club, I think we have turned a few heads this season.

“We have got 11 mouth-watering games now, at the business end of the season.

“The gaffer keeps touching on it, this is why we are in the industry for these type of games, and it’s going to be a really interesting finish.

“We are in the mix with 11 games to go and, at the start of the season, anyone would have bitten your hand off if you had given them that opportunity.”

In the Ipswich team today will be a familiar face, defender Cameron Carter-Vickers, the 20-year-old who started the season at Bramall Lane, on loan from Tottenham.

Baldock said: “ It will be nice to catch up, after the game, not before.

“He did really well for us and has a really bright future. He’s very strong, still learning, still very young – the boys forgot how young he was at times, because of how mature he is.

“He’s a really good player, but hopefully he has an off-day on Saturday. He plays quite far away from me, maybe that’s a good thing, because he treads on your toes a bit.”