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Give Luke a fair chance - 20/09/2003

   Danny Wilson
   Bristol City

Danny Wilson today urged Bristol City supporters to give Luke Wilkshire a chance. The Australian Under-23 international found himself sitting in the stand for Tuesday's 2-0 home victory over Tranmere.

Christian Roberts stepped in for the summer recruit from Middlesbrough and was expected to keep him out of the team again for today's visit of leaders Port Vale.

City boss Wilson is optimistic the break will do the midfielder a power of good and said: "The expectation levels on Luke are a bit unfortunate, as they are on the team as a whole.

"Everyone expected him to be a clone of Scott Murray when in all honesty there's no-one in football quite like Scott.

"What Luke offers us is totally different but that's not to say he's not a very good footballer.

"There is no pressure on his shoulders and I have no doubt he'll come back in the very near future full of energy and determination.

"As with Lee Miller, he has had to contend with moving house, playing international football and playing with us - and he clearly needed his batteries recharging."

Wilson believes City's third-place finish last season prompted supporters to believe they could win at a canter this time.

The Robins have made a mixed start but their manager stood firmly by his men, stressing: "Because we have not yet been as fluent as we were at times last season, people have been getting on our backs and I find it unbelievable, though perhaps not unexpected.

"As far as we are concerned we cannot allow it to affect our focus.

"People think we have a divine right to be top and maybe that's because we went beyond all expectations last season.

"In my opinion it was an incredibly good one that few could have predicted before it began.

"Some people expect us to win promotion by the end of September and that's not giving the players a fair chance."

Lee Peacock missed training again yesterday because of an ankle problem. Lee Matthews, who has not started a game yet this season, is on stand-by.

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