ABDULAI BELL-BAGGIE returns to Huish Park tomorrow determined to help Tranmere maintain their drive for promotion to the Championship, at Yeovil Town’s expense.
The little winger from Sierra Leone spent six months with the Glovers during the second half of 2011.
Released by Yeovil at the start of 2012, Bell-Baggie struggled to establish himself with non-league clubs Hayes and Yeading United and then Salisbury City. He was on the point of giving up his ambitions in football when he earned a ‘last chance’ trial with Tranmere.
The 20-year-old did well enough to secure a one-year contract and has made 22 senior appearances this season, in spite of missing three months with a leg injury.
Now Bell-Baggie has raised the bar of ambition to playing in the Championship, after helping Tranmere sustain a promotion challenge through the first 35 games of the campaign.
His well taken goal in the 1-1 draw against Notts County on Tuesday was worth a point that kept Rovers in third place in the table.
He said: “I’m looking forward to going back. I’m going there to win and to play some attacking football.”
Bell-Baggie understands the workings of the two clubs well enough to know that both are punching above their weight in terms of budgets and resources, by being among the group of League One clubs challenging for promotion.
“We’re both overachieving,” he said. “In our case I think we’re up there on merit. We’ve worked hard to get where we are.
“It does not count for anything yet. It’s where we’re at the end of the season that matters. But we’ve reached 60 points with 11 games to go and anything can happen from here.
“We believe in ourselves, that we can push for promotion because we have a good enough team to do it. We’re still in a great position, in spite of some of the disappointing results we’ve had at home just recently.”
Adding to a tally of two goals for the season is a priority for Bell-Baggie, who is keen to hold down a regular place in Ronnie Moore’s starting XI after making eight appearances from the bench this season.
“I want to be involved more I want to add more goals to my game, contribute more to the team,” Bell-Baggie said.
It could be argued Tranmere will take some comfort from returning to the road after Bell-Bagie’s goal on Tuesday secured the only point from the last four games at Prenton Park. The winger admits a run of injuries is having an impact on the team and accepts a little nervousness may be creeping in.
He said: “We have been unfortunate with the injuries of late but we are getting players back as well, which helps. We stopped the rot at home on Tuesday. The club have not been in this situation for some time – third in the league with 11 games to go.
“I’m not sure why we’ve been a bit more nervous at home. Everyone wants to do well and get to the next level. The spirit is good. The players are very close and willing to work for each other.
“At the start of the season some people thought we would be relegated but we knew the gaffer had brought good players to the club.”
Bell-Baggie suffered a hand injury on Tuesday but he is confident it won’t prevent him being available for selection tomorrow.
But the experienced trio of Ian Goodison, Andy Robinson and Mama Sidibe will be ruled out by injuries tomorrow.