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Wilkinson takes issue with FA ban

Stoke defender Andy Wilkinson is still unhappy with the retrospective three-match ban imposed on him by the Football Association.

Wilkinson has returned from the suspension he received after the FA, using video evidence, determined his flailing hand had made contact with the face of Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli.

“It was a harsh punishment and it certainly cost me,” Wilkinson told reporters.

“You’ve seen similar incidents go unpunished. We have a really good squad now and so getting back into the team when you’re out is really difficult.

“But overall I cannot complain with life too much. I look at what I have at Stoke City and I know I am a very lucky individual.”

The right-back has also expressed his interest in swapping flanks for Tony Pulis’ side, with fellow defender Marc Wilson ruled out for three months following a broken leg in the match against Sunderland.

Stoke are without a replacement left-back in their 25-man squad for Premier League matches, and Wilkinson said he would be willing to fill the vacancy.

“It’s down to the gaffer who plays there, but I’m ready,” he said.

“If you look at how many games I’ve played there, I’ve played quite a few at left-back. Yes, it is more unnatural to me as a right-footer, but it’s nothing I can’t deal with.”

Wed 31 Oct, 2012
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