Young defender on a big win for the Brewers against WycombeDefender George Taft hailed Burton Albion's victory over promotion rivals Wycombe Wanderers as 'massive' when he reflected on another clean sheet for the Brewers that was instrumental in establishing a seven point gap over their opponents in third place and an eleven point lead over the chasing pack with Bury, fourth at the start of play, slipping up at home to Morecambe to put Albion almost within touching distance of promotion with five games to go.
"That's a massive win for us this afternoon." said George, "We have now only got five games left so it has put us in a good position and confidence is high at the minute."
"Winning is always enjoyable and with how close they are to us in the league it really meant a lot."
Taft has been in and out of the side in recent weeks, featuring in the 4-1 victory over Tranmere before dropping out of the starting line-up for the games against Stevenage and Plymouth. The former Leicester City product admitted he was surprised, but ready, to take his chance again when the manager announced the team for Wycombe.
"It was a bit of a surprise but I will always try and take my chance when it comes and try to work as hard as I can for the team and play my part." George continued.
Another left footer in the side earned the three points with Adam McGurk sweeping home a glorious left foot shot just after half time although goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin sealed the three points for Albion with an outstanding save late on to deny Wycombe defender Aaron Pierre's thumping header.
"Gurks is good at that, bringing it inside and then curling it in on that left foot of his." admitted Taft, "I think it was going to take a bit of magic to seperate the two teams. They are a very organised team and they almost equalised, but for a great save from Jon [McLaughlin] and things went in our favour today."
"Jon has been absolutely on fire this season. He has been really good and he was excellent again today."
Albion have forged a reputation on not losing once they are in front in games and so it proved again against the Chairboys and George said that it is important to strike the right balance between defence and attack once the side has something to hold onto in games.
"It was important that once we got in front that we were solid." he said, "You cant just go bombing on and selling yourselves. We have had to try and shut up shop at the back and try to hold out for as long as we can. Then you hope that the attackers can get another and make things easier."
It is hard not to look at the Sky Bet League 2 table right now with things tantalisingly close for Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink's side but George knows that standards need to be maintained over the remaining games to ensure there is something to celebrate over the coming weeks.
"We all have a little look now and again but we have still got to focus on the next five games ahead of us and do our best in those matches. Hopefully if we do that then the rest of it will look after itself."
"They are all big games that we have left and I love being a part of big games. They bring out the best in us, playing against good sides and we will be ready for it so we look forward to the next game [Luton]."
This is George's first season in senior football having failed to make the breakthrough at Leicester City and opting to leave the King Power Stadium at the end of last season. The former England youth international has settled in well at Burton and could well mark his first season at the club with something to put on his CV as well as improving his game having played at both centre back and left back during the season.
"I think I have had a good season and improved my game a lot." said George reflecting on his first season at the Pirelli, "We have been blessed with two great managers and I have learnt a lot off both of them. There is still plenty of learning to come for me and hopefully that will come if I can get more games. I prefer to play as a centre back but I will fill in at left back if I am needed and if that gets me in the team then I will do what I can there."
And what would promotion mean to a young player like George?
"That would be incredible. That is what I came here looking at the side and the squad knowing what strengths we had and the opportunity that was there and it has worked out really well so far."