Wilkin anticipating a different test
Saints have come up against big clubs Oxford United and MK Dons as part of their build-up and Mike Ford’s side will be keen to show what they can do against higher opposition on a superb playing surface.
Newly-promoted MK Dons ran out 5-1 winners in front of a four-figure crowd at St James Park on Tuesday and Wilkin said: “It was a tough test against a very strong League One team. That is exactly the sort of hard game we need at this stage of pre-season and there is important learning to take from the game.
“The game was a lot closer last season but they’ve kicked on from there and it was a tough night for us. The game asked some questions of us and exposed a few areas of our game which we will need to do something about. It was a tough game but that’s what we needed, you don’t want it all your own way.
“It’s not something we will come up against every week but we have to make sure when we get the ball we do better with it. We gave the ball away too easily but they made life difficult for us.
“It was encouraging to see so many supporters turn out and create a good atmosphere. We should have a lot more of the ball against Banbury, they’re more akin to the type of team we’re likely to face this season. It should be more of a test for us with the ball.”
Wilkin has added another striker to his squad with the prolific Tendai Daire joing the club from Lutterworth Town.
Wilkin said: “Tendai Daire scored a lot of goals at Lutterworth last season but it’s a big jump up for him. He knows where the back of the net is and we hope he can make further progress with us, like Matt Lowe and Lee Ndlovu did, and develop into a consistent performer at this level.”