Forward Conor Wilkinson insists Orient is the first club where he has felt at home
- Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo
Attacker Conor Wilkinson insists Leyton Orient is the first club that he has felt at home and he believes that has played a big part in his best season yet to date.
The 25-year-old has found the net 10 times so far this campaign in all competitions for the O’s including seven League Two goals.
Prior to playing for Orient, Wilkinson spent time at Bolton Wanderers, Gillingham and Dagenham & Redbridge but numerous loan spells at clubs like Oldham Athletic, Torquay United, Newport County, Portsmouth and many other clubs.
“This is the first club I've been at where I have felt at home, never really have been elsewhere, you probably know from my record I've been sent on loan a million times and also chopped and changed in and out of clubs every time a window was open,” Wilkinson told Phoenix FM.
“I never really found myself a secure home, I thought that would have happened at Gillingham going from Bolton Wanderers signing a two-year-deal there but Peter Taylor got sacked or walks out after a month and a half. I had to literally go back to square one.
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“The manager that came in wasn’t keen on me, I was there playing second or third fiddle to some players, then before you know it you’re a forgotten about man.
“I had to then swallow my pride and go to the National League, either that or I'm out of football.”
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The attacker has been in professional football since the age of 17 and he felt dropping down the National League with Dagenham & Redbridge was the way to revitalise his career by showing whatb he is capable of.
“It was either go there, swallow my pride, tell everyone and show everyone I can do it or I’m out of the game and that I'd be working with my dad.
“Football is all I know, so I just wanted to make sure I could walk away from it saying I did turn it around, and I did give it everything that I have got to a certain degree.
“I could have sat there, let Gillingham see my contract out, I would have then been nowhere, probably playing football in Finland or something.”
The Irishman also revealed he is loving play as a right forward this season despite never playing in this position previously.
“To be honest with you, I've never really played right of a three before, but like I say I'm having my best to date and I'm thoroughly enjoying it out there.
“It’s completely different to what I'd have to do as a number 9, I'm 6’3 and if I played there, most teams would think I'm going to get the ball lumped into me and I'm going to hold it up whereas I back myself a lot 1v1 against defenders.
“I get to do that more out on the right and I can leave DJ, the fox in the box, to do what he needs to do.”
He added:“I don’t think it was a big adjustment, it was more me taking up the right positions, and focusing my energy on the final third rather than coming to get the ball.”