Wickham at ‘about 90 per cent’ as he looks to get back to full fitness

The front man hopes more game time will help him reach his full potential again
Connor Wickham says match fitness is all he is lacking now after five substitute appearances for MK DonsConnor Wickham says match fitness is all he is lacking now after five substitute appearances for MK Dons
Connor Wickham says match fitness is all he is lacking now after five substitute appearances for MK Dons

Connor Wickham believes he is almost back at full fitness again, but the final bit will come from playing more games.

The 28-year-old joined MK Dons in January after being released by Preston North End, having played just two games for them after penning a deal at Deepdale in the summer.

Injuries have ravaged his career in recent years, but he has managed five substitute appearances since signing for Dons last month, and he believes he is close to full fitness once more.

“I'm at about 90 per cent,” he admitted. “The final bit comes from more game time and exposure I get. The games are a million miles away from just training. But I love it, especially with this weekend's fixture (against former club Sunderland).

“I needed fitness, games and I wanted to play football again. It was an opportunity to come into a team doing really well, with a good core energy. Hopefully, it will be one I can help push on at the back end of the season.”

Wickham’s physical presence, at 6ft 3in, is not something which has gone unnoticed but can be stereotyped - using him as a target man to fire balls in at. It’s also an attribute Dons have not really had since Chuks Aneke or Jabo Ibehre down the years. And like the aforementioned duo, Wickham prefers not to be the focal point for route one football, but instead prefers to play in Dons’ style in to his feet.

He added: “I can offer something different, but we have an identity and I think it's like a second option to what I might have been used as before, being seen as that big number 9 who can hold it up.

“The manager wants to play football, which for me is ideal because I want the ball on the floor, not just having someone's elbow in the back of my head every two seconds.”