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Oxford United skipper on course for 'best season'
JAKE Wright believes he is heading for the best individual season of his career.
The Oxford United skipper has been a model of consistency over the last eight months.
It is a feat made all the more impressive in a back four which has been disrupted by injuries for much of the campaign.
Wright has avoided any serious knocks and is set to face Chesterfield tomorrow in what will be his 46th start of the season – the most of any U’s player.
The centre back is always modest about his own performances, but thinks if his individual form continues for the next eight games this season will have surpassed all others.
He said: “I’m really enjoying my football and I just want to keep as fit as I can do, try not to pick up little knocks and hopefully finish the season off well.
“If I play the rest of the games and stay fit maybe it will have been my best year.”
While it has been a good season on an individual level, Wright will not be able to reflect on the campaign with pleasure unless it ends successfully for the team.
The defender turned 27 on Monday and views the next few seasons as the critical phase of his career.
He had a brief taste of npower League One during a mixed spell at Brighton and a successful return to the third tier remains a big source of motivation – preferably with United.
“I want to keep learning and the next two or three years are going to be big for me,” he said.
“That’s when I’ll hopefully be peaking and I think it’s important for me to try and get to the level I want to be at and try to play as high as I can.
“Even when you peak you still make mistakes – the best players still make them – but it’s about making fewer errors.
“I think that’s what I've done this year, I've cut out some mistakes and I think I’ve defended really well.
“I just want to keep going for the next eight games and see where it takes us.
“Hopefully it gets Oxford in the play-offs and gets us into League One.”
Wright thinks his game has been boosted by Michael Duberry’s presence in the squad for the last two years.
Although injuries have severely restricted the veteran’s appearances this season, Wright is convinced the ex-Chelsea and Leeds defender has made an impact.
He said: “Dubes helps me with a lot of things, not just about defending, but about captaincy.
“He has been brilliant for me, even when he’s not been playing.”
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