Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Marc Wilson eager to take midfield chance

Irish international Marc Wilson believes he is ready to try and gate-crash Stoke’s central midfield between now and the end of the season.

But he admits the successful Rory Delap/Dean Whitehead combination may remain a tough nut to crack.

That pair recently enjoyed eight successive Premier League games on the trot, but an enforced reshuffle at Manchester United and an FA Cup tie against Cardiff has left Wilson starting the last two games to much acclaim.

“It is always good whenever the fans appreciate you,” said the 23-year-old Irishman from County Antrim, “and it was great that the manager should give me the shout to play.

“I hadn’t played a full 90 minutes before the game at Old Trafford, so after 80 minutes I was feeling it a little bit. But it was great to be out there.

“Every player obviously wants to be in the team every week if he can and hopefully I can do that, but to be fair to Rory and Dean have been doing really well.”

Wilson, who joined four months ago as part of the deal that took Dave Kitson to Portsmouth, has proved easy on the eye with his natural ability on the ball.

But he acknowledges there has been work to do on the defensive side of his game to meet the requirements demanded at Stoke.

“The manager has done a great job in getting all the players playing together,” he said, “and he likes the team really solid first and foremost.

“It has taken a bit of adjusting to for me, but I think I’m getting used to it now.”

WIlson has also attracted the interest of Ireland international manager Giovanni Trapattoni and may play some part in the upcoming Celtic cup game against Wales in Dublin next month. Wilson was drafted into the Ireland squad for their crucial European qualifying double-header against Russia and Slovakia last October, but failed to get off the bench on that occasion.

“I’ve been in the last few squads and I’d love to play for my country,” he said.

“Getting a game for Ireland would be an unbelievable achievement, but I think the manager wants all his players playing week in, week out for their clubs.”