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In his own words: Phil Parkinson post-Stoke City

29 July 2017

Wanderers rounded off their pre-season preparations with a narrow defeat at the hands of Stoke City on Saturday afternoon.

The Whites took the lead through Adam Le Fondre's superb individual effort, only to see two late goals from substitute Joselu snatch the victory for the Potters.

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

On a positive performance against Premier League opposition…

We were very pleased with the performance today – it was a real step-up in standard for us and we played today as we have done during most of our pre-season campaign to date, apart from last week at Fleetwood where we put in a really disappointing display.

Today though, it was back to how I know we can play. Our fitness levels were good and we showed some very good discipline, while our quality on the ball was excellent at times.

We’ve taken a Premier League team very close and when they put their four subs into the mix on what was a hot and humid day, it gave them that fresh impetus which enabled them to get the goals.

Realistically, the referee should have given a free-kick when Sammy got bundled over on the touchline in the build-up to the goal, but all in all, there were a lot of good points for us to take from today and we go into our final week of preparations in good spirits.

On creating numerous goalscoring opportunities…

We definitely did well in front of goal today while Adam Armstrong has come on and had a really tremendous effort which the goalkeeper has had to make an excellent save to keep out.

The lads who came on too made an impact for us and could have so easily added another goal to our tally.

On players gaining 90 minutes yet again ahead of the season opener…

It’s hugely important that the lads get those minutes in their legs and of course, the ones who didn’t play will be disappointed, but we’ve got a game coming up on Tuesday where they could feature.

In the first week of the season though, we go Sunday-Wednesday-Saturday, so everyone will play in that three-game period.

With that in mind, that first week is almost like an addition to pre-season and once we get right into the heart of the campaign, everybody is right up to speed.

On the test of a top flight opponent ahead of the visit of Leeds next weekend…

It was very important to have a high calibre of opposition. The games we had in Scotland were very good tests for us with the Scottish season just about to start when we played them.

We weren’t great at Fleetwood, but today we came up against a strong Premier League team and did very well.

I thought the communication and discipline within the team was excellent and one thing we don’t lack is heart and spirit which we showed today.

On Adam Le Fondre’s superb individual goal…

People will say it was maybe a little fortunate, but he’s done it so many times in his career, it certainly wasn’t lucky.

His all-round performance and contribution to the team today though was superb. He’s looking really fit and he’s got the bit between his teeth.

And finally, on the team’s chemistry…

It’s hugely important to have that bond. Any team is at its best when you play as a team and with a structure to try and win a game of football, and we showed that today.

To win a game of football in England when the matches are so tight, you’ve got to play with discipline and structure with or without the ball and I felt that you could see a lot of signs of that happening today.

We’re going to look forward to this coming week though – we have eight days’ build-up now and Sammy’s got a bit of a twisted knee which is a shame, but apart from that we’re in good shape and we go into this week ready to add the final bits of detail to our preparation to make sure that we’re competitive heading into a great season for us.

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