Stoke defender Wilkinson unhappy with FA ban imposed after video evidence

The 28-year-old is back but was suspended for three games after a tustle with Manchester City's Mario Balotelli and insists that the retrospective outlook was 'harsh'
Stoke defender Andy Wilkinson is still unhappy with the retrospective ban the Football Association implemented that saw him miss three crucial games for the Premier League side.

The 28-year-old has returned from the suspension that was only dished out after the FA convicted Wilkinson following video evidence of a flailing hand in 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 after fellow defender Marc Wilson was ruled out for three months following a broken leg against Sunderland.

The Potters are without a replacement left-back in their 25-man-squad for Premier League matches, but Wilkinson insists that he would be willing to fill the vacancy.

"It's down to the gaffer who plays there, but I'm ready," he added.

"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."