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In his own words: Phil Parkinson post-Millwall

12 August 2017

Filipe Morais free-kick ensured Bolton came away from The Den with their first points of the 2017-18 Sky Bet Championship campaign.

Despite falling behind to George Saville's second-half goal, the Whites showed grit and determination to earn a point from Saturday's encounter.

And speaking following the final whistle, manager Phil Parkinson covered the following points...

On getting off the mark in the league... 

It was very important to take something from today because after getting beat last week we needed to get off the mark. It’s a tough place to come and it was Millwall’s first game back in the Championship and I thought we coped very well. We knew it would be 100 miles per hour at the start of the game and we dealt with that. We got hold of the ball and controlled it for periods in that midfield area.

It was disappointing to concede the goal, I don’t think it was a slow start in the second-half, we just conceded a disappointed goal, however, the reaction was great yet again and the fans saw a group of players who gave everything today and we’ve had to earn the point. Beevers’ block, Morais’ block and all those moments in the game were so important for us to get the point so we’re very pleased. 

On Gary Madine...

It was a tough game for Madine because the Millwall defence were very physical with him today. Was the quality as good

Was the quality as good into him as it was last week first half? Probably not. But sometimes, you’ve got to keep scrapping and he did that and as a team, we did that.

We know that’s what we’ve got to do. We’ve got to fight tooth and nail for every single point we get. It’s what we had to do last season so we’re certainly going to have to this year.

In terms of the first week of the season, we’ve had an indifferent first 45 against Leeds where we conceded some uncharacteristic goals and responded really well and showed great character. Then at Crewe, we went one goal down but came back into it really well. Then today it was a very important point so all in all it’s been a very decent first week for us, certainly not spectacular but the good signs are there. 

On Filipe Morais' goal...

You need moments in the game of real quality and that free kick from Filipe was top class because it’s difficult to get the ball up and down from that distance. It was a massive wall, but it was great execution. We’ve got to be patient with Fil because he’s missed all pre-season he’s now had 30 minutes on Wednesday and 30 minutes today. So we’ll assess him again but he has got a bang on his knee after today’s game. He’s a key player for us and we want him right because it’s a long season and to start him today would’ve been a risk.

On the defensive performance...

Gregory and Morison, have got every trick in the book going on. I thought Dorian had a very good game  - sometimes we forget to mention him but I thought he was colossus today. 

Reece Burke was ill before the game and at half time but that’s the character we need, he never looked like he wanted to come off. It’s always difficult for West Ham players to come and play at Millwall and stand strong but from young Reece that’s a real sign of his maturity in his performance today.

On Josh Cullen, Darren Pratley and Jem Karacan...

I thought they gave their all in there. Pratley and Karacan have got incredible running power and they showed it today. It was hard at times because Millwall were switching the play to their full-backs but those two and young Josh were superb.

On the travelling Bolton fans...

When you come to a place like Millwall it’s good to look over to that stand and see a good travelling army behind you because this place can be difficult for a lot of teams. They’ll give a lot of sides problems here, but we’ll take the points so hopefully, our supporters will be travelling back in reasonable spirits.

And finally, on Birmingham City on Tuesday night... 

We always knew the start of the season would be full on in terms of the demand on us but last Wednesday we managed to change a lot of players so we’ve got the option to do that again. It’s now up to me, Steve and the rest of the staff on the way back to have a good think about it and make the right decisions to pick a team that can go again on Tuesday.

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