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Frustrated Wilkinson looks to end Daggers season on a high

Daggers' Luke Wilkinson on the ball against Burton Albion earlier in the season. Pic: Dave Simpson/TGSPHOTO Daggers' Luke Wilkinson on the ball against Burton Albion earlier in the season. Pic: Dave Simpson/TGSPHOTO

Friday, April 11, 2014
10:44 AM

It’s been a frustrating season for Daggers Player of the Year Luke Wilkinson, but he’s hoping it can at least end well.

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The 23-year-old was a key player for the side last season as they just avoided the drop out of the Football League on goal difference.

But the former Bristol City youngster has been hampered by groin and ankle injuries this term, as well as added competition for his place from summer signing Brian Saah.

And though it has not gone as the central defender would have liked, Wilkinson hopes he can at least end it on a high, and keep their slim play-off hopes alive with a home win tomorrow (Saturday) against Portsmouth.

“I have had quite a few injuries this year which is frustrating,” said Wilkinson.

“Up until now I haven’t been that injury prone in my career and touch wood, I don’t have to spend too much more time on the sidelines.

“Hopefully the worst of it is behind me and I can just get on and play football now.

“I had a good season and it’s been frustrating that I haven’t played as much as I wanted to this season, but that’s down to injuries.”

He added: “We can still make the play-offs, but it is going to require a big push from everyone now.

“With the games we have left we are more than capable of getting five wins, but it’s going to be tough.”

Wilkinson spent the 2009-10 season with Pompey during their time in the Premier League.

But it’s all gone downhill for the South Coast club since, and they now find themselves just holding on to their place in the Football League.

And though the former Boreham Wood loanee never made a first-team appearance, he still had some good experiences and memories with the Fratton Park side.

“When I was there that was the start of the difficult times for them with their money troubles,” he added.

“I really enjoyed my time there, playing in the reserves as well as going out on loan for a month or two.

“It’s a good club and they are too big to be in our league, but obviously they are there for a reason where they’ve not done well enough in the divisions above.”

Wilkinson missed the 2-0 defeat to Wycombe Wanderers last weekend through illnees, in a game which saw fellow centre half Scott Doe sent off just before half time.

It’s a straight choice between Wilkinson and Ian Gayle, who made his first-team debut for the Daggers as a result of Doe’s dismissal.

And while wary of the competition he faces for his place, he hopes he gets the nod to face his former side.

“Ian came in and did well at Wycombe and he’s more than capable of stepping in to do a job again,” said Wilkinson.

“It’s up to the gaffer who he chooses Saturday, but obviously I want to play and I look forward to it if I am.”

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