The Albion forward is happy to contribute defensively.
Brighton & Hove Albion striker Sam Baldock is delighted with the team’s defensive record so far this season, and takes almost as much pleasure from helping his team-mates prevent goals as he does when scoring them himself.
The Seagulls have kept 13 clean sheets in 21 league games this season, and Baldock, who’s found the back of the net on five occasions, is pleased to be contributing at both ends of the pitch.
He said, “I’m confident going into each game. I’m enjoying my football and being part of a solid unit. I take a lot of pride in our defensive performances.
“We start from the top and I think I’m learning quite a lot tactically on how to play the position defensively, as well as offensively.
“I’m enjoying the way that we break with pace; we’ve got a lot of quality out wide and we’ve got good options whoever is playing in midfield, and they seem to be controlling most games.
“We’ve all got confidence in the back five, I felt Stocko [David Stockdale] made some really key saves the other day [v Blackburn]. We’re all proud to be part of this squad and we hope to achieve something special together.”
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Baldock insists his team-mates remain grounded despite opening up an eight-point gap between themselves and third place, and commented on the high standard of teams in the Sky Bet Championship.
“The focus remains, nobody is getting carried away. Everyone knows how much quality is in this division and how difficult every fixture is.
“You only have to look at the games that we have slipped up on, they’re potentially games that you’d have thought we’d have won - dropping points at Cardiff and at home to Preston and Brentford.
“Looking back on those games, we should have maybe got the three points but it wasn’t to be, and that just shows the quality of this division.
“If we worry about other teams, we’ll lose sight of our own goals. There’s so long to go, we’ve got a healthy cushion and we want to continue to make that greater, but our focus is on Birmingham."
Albion take on the Blues this afternoon, and Baldock was surprised to see Gary Rowett relieved of his duties at St Andrew’s, but expects new manager Gianfranco Zola to have a positive impact.
“I was very surprised to see it happen, I thought he’d [Gary Rowett] done a very good job at Birmingham. But they’ve not waited long, they’ve appointed very quickly and by all accounts, he’s [Gianfranco Zola] a good manager.
“He was at West Ham before I went there, and the boys spoke very highly of him. I’m sure he’ll do a great job for them but I hope he gets off to a slow start!
“He’ll go in and stamp his authority straight away, he’ll try and play his style of football, and if anything, we’ll be going into the unknown.
“That means we’ll need to focus on ourselves even more, so it could be a blessing that we just focus on what we have to do and how we need to go about the game.”
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