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In his own words: Phil Parkinson post-Sheffield United

30 December 2017

Gary Madine's eighth goal of the campaign was enough to earn Wanderers their first away league victory of the campaign against Sheffield United on Saturday afternoon.

The big striker struck the decisive effort with just 21 minutes on the clock, with the Whites seeing out the rest of the game to pick up three priceless points.

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

On finishing 2017 on a high...

It was so important to get that away win under our belts. We've been so close to it at times this season and sometimes when you don't get it, it can be a psychological factor.

It's definitely a weight off our shoulders but nobody was going to hand it to us - we had to work hard to get it and put in a very disciplined and committed performance which we showed today.

Our concentration levels and mentality were exactly where we needed them to be and we are thoroughly pleased with the result.

On mixing things up personnel-wise...

We made changes today as we've had a lot of games recently, but we also felt that we needed to give certain players an opportunity.

Cullen, Le Fondre, Morais and Burke came in and were outstanding and I have to say that their efforts are a credit to those players and their mentalities.

They have all worked extremely hard on the training pitch to be able to play how they did today.

We always knew that they would fatigue in the second half and with that in our thoughts, we had ready-made subs in mind, but their contributions were outstanding.

On Gary Madine getting the winning goal...

It was a very good performance by Gaz and that was capped off with a great goal created by some good work by Antonee and Alfie.

He made a very good run into the six yard box where he's getting a lot of his goals, but I was particularly pleased with his efforts in the second half.

When you get a goal, you've got to make sure that it's part of a winning performance and he did that today.

On Ben Alnwick stepping up when it mattered at the other end...

I've been to Bramall Lane many times as a manager and as a player, and when Sheffield United are attacking towards the Kop, their fans really do suck the ball in.

We knew we would have to defend well, but we did and I thought Ben was excellent today.

We have said to the lads though that as much as we're pleased with today's performance and the result, we've got to keep our feet firmly on the ground.

If we can get a result on Monday against Hull, then it will have been a terrific festive period for us but to do that, we need to show exactly the same committment as we've shown today.

And finally, on the challenge of Hull City next up...

All games are important and Monday is very much so. With the start we've had though and the problems we faced in the summer, we set the aim of being in a position to challenge the other teams around us by January 2.

Today's result and what happens on Monday will be able to help us stay cemented in and around that pack because if we are, I believe we can push on.


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