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Josh Wright: Living up to expectations at Scunthorpe United

The ease with which Josh Wright has tackled his first full season in the Championship suggests bigger things ahead for the young Scunthorpe United midfielder.

A regular with England's youth teams, Wright captained the U17s on more than one occasion, the stylish holding midfielder is enjoying his first campaign at Championship level and meeting the expectations of those tipping the 20 year-old for a big Premiership career.

"I am very pleased with how this season has gone at Scunthorpe especially after such an up and down - or I should say down and up season!" laughed Wright with

"I'm gradually getting there. It has been a slow procedure but its coming together now."

Having come through the system at Charlton Athletic, Wright's reputation drew interest from the likes of Liverpool and Tottenham before the Addicks went into meltdown. The midfielder admits Charlton's problems did hinder his development.

"If it wasn't for how Charlton, the club itself, had gone over the years, I'm sure I'd be where I and others want and expected me to be. But I'm playing in the championship at 19 to 20 years of age, which is a very good achievement, especially when you look at how few of the players in my age group with England are still playing and at what level," says Wright, who does hope to catch the eye of England U21 boss Stuart Pearce before the end of the season.

"I haven't spoken to Stuart, himself, but I've heard he has been at one or two games and some of his scouts have been here through the season, so all I can do is keep trying to do my best at this level to impress him and others to get myself in the u21s," adds Wright.

Wright credits his move to Glanford Park after a successful spell on-loan last season with hometown club Gillingham.

The youngster helped Gillingham win promotion to League One, including an influential performance in the Wembley playoff victory over Shrewsbury.

Wright takes up the story: "There were several clubs interested and Scunthorpe being one of a few in the Championship, they were one of my favourite choices. The main interest came after the final at Wembley.

"I went on to meet the gaffer (Nigel Adkins) and I was very impressed with what he had to say and I made my choice there and then. I'm sure it was the right choice after playing so much this year.

"I had something in my contract at Charlton which allowed me to move to another club if I wished, so that helped. I felt I needed a change and that's all I need to say about that. Scunthorpe just seemed the right club for me."

While reluctant to discuss the manner with which he left The Valley, Wright admits the way Charlton went into freefall after their relegation from the Premiership was a heartbreaker.

"My time at Charlton was very strange. Overall I loved it there and the club will always be in my heart and I feel I'm not finished there," says Wright. "It was horrible at times with the relegations and the change of managers.

"You would impress one manager and he'd love you and then I would have to go and do it all again with another and that was the story for the years I was there."

Despite the senior frustrations, Wright is grateful to the grounding he received at the Addicks' acclaimed academy.

"The academy is superb there and they have played a big part in where I am now. But its just a shame how the club went over the years because it didn't help youngsters like me and I feel they have lost out on a lot of players because of it.

"I'm sure I would have played there more and would still be there now if it wasn't for what happened to the club, but I'd love to see them back where they belong and that is in the top two divisions - definitely.

"I enjoyed my time there overall and would never rule a return out because I have unfinished business there. They will always be in my heart."

These days, it's all about Scunthorpe and keeping the club in the Championship. Recent results have seen United move five points above the relegation zone.

"I'd love to keep Scunthorpe in this division and for us to push on as a club to bigger and better things," adds Wright. "It's a well run club, although it's small, but that doesn't say we cannot push on."

Wright says Nigel Adkins' passing game is ideal for his development and insists they can maintain it - and beat the drop.

"Yeah, it suits me because they are a passing team and a close family club that make you feel welcome. We all believe we will be safe."

Chris Beattie
About the author

Chris Beattie

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