Pat Baldwin facing an anxious wait to make Exeter City game
Exeter City defender Pat Baldwin faces an anxious wait on two fronts this week – news on the birth of his first child and whether it means he can face AFC Wimbledon or not.
The popular City stopper has been a virtual ever-present since signing for the club last summer, but his wife, Alex, is due to give birth on Saturday.
It could mean the 30-year-old Londoner will miss City’s League Two encounter with AFC Wimbledon, where they will be looking to maintain their unbeaten start to the league campaign.
“I will be a doubt if my wife goes into labour, but if she doesn’t then I won’t be a doubt,” Baldwin said. “We will just have to wait and see what happens.
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“The due date is actually Saturday, so that will be interesting! I haven’t made any plans, we will just see how she feels, see what nature does and take it from there. It’s the only choice we have got really.
“I will probably leave my phone on the bench, but once I am playing, I am hoping the game will be over quickly and I will be able to shoot straight off if anything does happen.
“It’s our first one, so it’s exciting time. But I am quite anxious and nervous about the timings because I don’t want to miss any games.”
Baldwin missed only a handful of games last season – he will ill at the back end of October and missed three games, while he also sat out the last two matches due to a hamstring injury. And with the Grecians’ defence looking strong and settled, he is desperate not to miss out this weekend when the club celebrate their ties with Brazil.
The Grecians have been allowed to wear their yellow and blue third kit by the Football League and with a samba band and a skills display from the Brazilian soccer school, it should be an entertaining day at St James’ Park.
“It should be a good occasion for the fans and we will be wearing the yellow kit. But for us it’s the old cliche, we have to focus on the game,” Baldwin said. “For us it is a chance to win three points at home.
“We can be happy with the four points so far, but it is also a good sign that we were quite disappointed that we didn’t win at Mansfield.
“We thought it was points dropped, I think we could have done better and I think that bodes well for the upcoming games.
“If we are to be successful, we need to be winning those sort of games. I don’t want to say that they are a lesser club because we are in the same league, but we were winning those types of games last year.
“We are confident in our own ability and we want to win every single game.
“It was good to get a clean sheet under our belt though, it took quite a while to get one last season. But we don’t have any excuses now because we have played together for long enough to put in the sort of performances we know we are capable of.”
However, while Baldwin, Danny Coles, Craig Woodman and goalkeeper Artur Krysiak are more than familiar with each other, manager Paul Tisdale has had to introduce a new right-back this season.
Jordan Moore-Taylor started the campaign in that role, but limped out of last Saturday’s draw at Mansfield after suffering an injury early on in the game. Aaron Dawson deputised and played admirably at Field Mill with the experienced Baldwin helping the youngsters through games.
“Those two lads have done really well, but they are still inexperienced and young and they won’t be completely consistent week in week out,”Baldwin said.
“I remember when I first started breaking through in professional football, it helps massively when you have older pro’s talking you through games because you do need that.
“You are still learning – I am still learning at my age, I don’t think you are ever too old to learn – so it is good and it is a part of the job that I really enjoy, bringing the youngsters through and improving them because they certainly improve me as a player and it keeps you on your toes when you see them coming through.”