In his own words: Phil Parkinson post-AFC Wimbledon

Read the manager's thoughts following Wanderers' victory at the Cherry Red Records Stadium on Saturday afternoon

Phil Parkinson offered up his thoughts following his side’s victory over AFC Wimbledon on Saturday afternoon.

Despite falling behind early on, goals from Gary Madine and Liam Trotter eventually ensured that the Whites ran out 2-1 winners at the Cherry Red Records Stadium.

And speaking following the final whistle, the manager covered the following points…

On picking up all three points against AFC Wimbledon…
It’s a massive thing for us, to get that first away win of the season. To come to AFC Wimbledon too, where the crowd were in party atmosphere and the conditions were against us from the off, it is really pleasing.

We spoke about it last night with the lads and we knew that we didn’t want to be a team who came off and made excuses and have hard luck stories.

I didn’t feel as though we did that today. We had a poor start but I thought that we responded really, really well.

Wimbledon are a very good team and they’ll cause teams problems this season with the way they play.

On ending the long wait for a league win on the road…
It has been a long time coming. You could feel the release and the relief from the supporters at the final whistle alongside the players and myself. I thought it was a good test for us today though in terms of challenging ourselves at this level.

In the Championship, all the stadiums are fantastic and the pitches are like bowling greens, but in this division we’ll come across different environments which we’ll have to contend with and be ready for.

I thought we did just that today apart from in the first ten minutes when we got caught on the back foot. After that though, we responded in terrific fashion and deservedly got the win.

On his side’s response to going behind in the game…
I thought the lads were excellent. We told them at half time that we were lacking a bit of basic organisation in terms of defending throw-ins and things like that, but once we got a foothold in the game I thought we looked the mostly likely team to win it.

There was quite a strong wind blowing against us in the first half which did make life difficult, but you cannot fault the work rate and the character in the boys over the first two league games.

We’re absolutely delighted to have got two wins out of two, but we’re not going to get carried away because we’ve still got to improve the squad.

At this stage of the season, if a team loses a couple of games, it’s easy to spend in the market so they end up doing well come the end of the campaign.

We need to be honest with ourselves and realistic – we’re delighted with the two wins but we’ve still got to keep reshaping the squad.

We’ve added Andy Taylor in there this week and hopefully soon we’ll be looking to add more to make us competitive.

On his decision to start with two target men upfront…
We knew Wimbledon would have a strong, physical team out and I know all about the work that Neal Eardley has done here too, so we had to combat that with Madine and Proctor.

Neal has reinvigorated the Wimbledon spirit and we had to have that physicality of our own in the team to match that. We went with a diamond in the midfield too to bring a bit of balance to the game and allow us to place some football as well.

Wimbledon’s game plan of course meant that we weren’t able to play as much as we would have liked, but that’s credit to them.

On Gary Madine opening his account for the season…
I’m pleased for Gaz – strikers need to score goals and it was a good finish for him. when you go a goal down, to get that goal back before the break to bring it to level terms was important.

He also had some good moments in the second period to score again too which is pleasing.

On Liam Trotter’s winning goal…
I’ve been really pleased with Trotts – he played 120 minutes on Tuesday at Blackpool and he’s getting fitter and stronger with every game he plays.

He’s got moments of quality and you need that in your squad to win games of football.

Some people show that they care by charging around the pitch and winning tackles, but others do it by playing with calmness when it really matters and Trotts did that with his finish today.

And on looking ahead to the team’s next outing against Bristol Rovers on Wednesday…
That’s going to be another very hard game for us – it’s a tight ground and the pitch will no doubt be similar to what we’ve experienced today.

We’ve still got to make sure that we take the lessons that we’ve learned from today to ensure that we go into the next game ready to go.

We’re so pleased with the win today though – it’s a long journey back home, but when you get three points in the bag it can take as long as it wants.

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