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Wilkinson up for the challenge

14 May 2009 15:37:46

Wilkinson up for the challenge

Stoke City defender Andy Wilkinson insists he would not be concerned if manager Tony Pulis brings in new players in his position over the summer. The 24-year-old has made the right-back slot his own this season, overcoming the challenge of club captain Andy Griffin, Stephen Kelly and Andrew Davies in the process. All together the Potters youth team graduate has made 18 Premier League starts, more than playing his part in helping the club beat the drop. But Wilkinson knows that Pulis would be foolish not to strengthen the side over the summer months and he openly welcomes any challenge for his starting berth. "The manager will do what he can again to keep the club up next season," he told The Sentinel. "If that means bringing in more players I am sure he will do that. If he brings in another right-back then it's another one to move out the way. "I am going to want that place and will push on and be working hard in the summer. Determined "No-one expected me to be in the team with the club captain in my place and Davies and Kelly brought in, but that's me. "If I want something I will work even harder to go and get it." Stoke secured their top flight status with a 2-1 win at Hull City last weekend and Wilkinson admits that he still has not come to terms with the fact that he will be playing Premier League football again next season. "Everyday I have to pinch myself and ask if this is really happening. But having said that I don't feel out of my comfort zone at all," he added. "At the start of the season against Bolton we were a bit timid and didn't express ourselves. But the more games we played the more confident we got. "We have seen we can play with the best of them and hold our own. Staying up is such an achievement that it's a better feeling than getting promoted. "Hopefully we can make it even better by finishing at the Brit with a win. I am sure it will be a great day."


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