A goal in each half for Bristol City ensured that the ten men of Wanderers fell to defeat at Ashton Gate on Tuesday evening.
Famara Diedhiou opened the scoring in an evenly contested first half with a close-range tap-in, while Aden Flint’s horribly deflected strike came late on in the second period after Filipe Morais had received his marching orders for a second bookable offence on the stroke of half time.
And speaking to the club’s website after the final whistle, Phil Parkinson covered the following points…
On the game as a whole…
I thought we restored pride tonight with the way we played. We started the game very well and it was a very disciplined performance.
Obviously they got the goal though and then the sending off made life very difficult.
You look at the two incidents which led to Fil’s dismissal and they’re very harsh yellows. The first one is even less of a foul than I initially thought at the time and the second one, with the first one being borderline, you’ve got to look at the situation.
I said to Fil at half time that you’ve got to stay on your feet and not be reckless, but to get sent off for those two challenges is hard to take.
The lads stuck at it though and after the weekend, it was important that we restored some pride and I thought we did that tonight.
On luck just not falling for us...
Chances were always going to be at a premium but we had a couple – Gary’s header could have so easily gone in and not been cleared off the line, but their deflected goal really killed the game.
I thought we had some good individual performances tonight, while Mark Howard was absolutely fantastic on his return to the team.
Karl Henry too, for somebody who hasn’t played a game this season before tonight, he put in a very good performance – to be in a situation where it’s 11 versus ten for a full half, it’s no mean feat and I thought he was excellent.
On the positives to take from the game…
I thought we were very calm in our gameplan tonight while it was great to get Sammy back out there on the pitch.
Having him back is absolutely huge for us, but like I said at the weekend, we’ve just got to be careful with him with him being such a key player for us and with so much of the season left.
On Jeff King’s first league start…
I thought Jeff was great playing in that number ten role which Josh Vela has done so well in.
He understands the role in terms of tightening the team up and although he couldn’t get on the ball as much as we would have liked and he had to go out wide after the sending off, he did well.
And finally, looking forward to Aston Villa away on Saturday…
I said to the lads after the game, we’ve got to take heart from tonight and it’s small steps in terms of where we were at the weekend.
A lot of people were quick to remind me about the result Bolton had against Bristol City a couple of years ago, but there was certainly no sign of that happening tonight.
With the experience we have in the team, we weren’t going to let that happen and we’ve got to take that determined mentality into the game at Villa Park.