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In his own words: Phil Parkinson post-Millwall

11 April 2018

The Whites suffered a 2-0 defeat at the hands of play-off chasing Millwall at Macron Stadium on Tuesday night.

Tom Elliott and Ben Marshall were on target for the visitors and despite an attacking double substitution in the second half, Wanderers were unable to stage a comeback.

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

On the game as a whole…

I thought the first half was even and we had more opportunities than we’ve had in quite a while. We had some good chances to lift everybody and we didn’t take them.

Too many of our set plays went into the goalkeeper’s hands and when they didn’t, I thought we needed to show more aggression and commitment to get on the end of those deliveries.

The one we conceded from flew over everybody. That’s not good enough for the quality of players we’ve got.

I thought we started the second half poorly – for the first 15 minutes we were physically second best and were losing the first and second balls all over the pitch.

We made the double substitution as I felt we needed a lift. As soon as we did that, we conceded from our own set play which was disappointing. We had pushed an extra man forward in our determination to get a goal back and were punished for that.

After the second goal, we looked deflated. Millwall are a team full of confidence and energy and it showed.

But we’ve got to find a way to get enough points on the board to keep us in the division, starting with Barnsley on Saturday.

On trying different personnel and systems…

I don’t think anyone can argue that we haven’t changed things. I changed it tonight from three at the back which we used against Derby County.

There’s a solution somewhere and we’ve got to make sure there’s a balance in the team in all departments in terms of enough energy, quality and belief that we can go and create something and get a goal.

On how to draw on the experience of losing to Scunthorpe United and Oldham Athletic in similar games last season…

It feels a bit the same as last year - we had a spell where we lost our way but we got back going again.

I reminded the lads in the dressing room of when we won at Port Vale and thought we were promoted, only to find out that Fleetwood had scored a late winner.

The dressing room was deflated on that day, but we picked ourselves up. It’s the same situation now.

They are all pressure games but football is about pressure – it’s how we deal with it. We need to stand strong and sustain a performance across the game.

On the return of captain Darren Pratley…

Darren gave us that physicality up there with Adam Le Fondre which he needs and he was a key factor in helping the team create chances.

He kept the ball in the final third and played it out to Sammy or Craig quickly.

I was pleased with his performance. It was a big ask for him to play but it’s a bonus that he’s back for us now.

And finally, on the outcome of the campaign being in the club’s own hands…

The results have gone for us with Burton Albion, Barnsley and Birmingham City tonight.

We’ve got to stay calm and ensure that everyone does their job to the letter on the pitch.

I believe if we do that, we’ve got the ability to get a result.


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