In his own words: Phil Parkinson ahead of Preston North End

Phil Parkinson is eyeing another positive home performance when Wanderers host local-rivals Preston North End in their latest Sky Bet Championship fixture on Saturday.

Last time out, a defiant Whites held Norwich City to take a share of the spoils at Carrow Road – a result that extended the gap between themselves and Sky Bet Championship bottom three.

And with three of the sides below them having already seen their fixtures this weekend fall foul to the weather, Bolton will be looking to take advantage extend their unbeaten run at Macron Stadium to seven games when they welcome the Lilywhites to BL6

Speaking to before the game, manager Phil Parkinson covered the following points…

On the difficult weather and preparations for the game…

We are fortunate that we have the indoor dome because without that this week, I’m not too sure what we would have done.

It does restrict you to a certain degree but equally it has been great that we have had that facility this week.

It’s not just crucial for the first team, but the Under-18s and Under-23s have been in there too. We have had three separate sessions going on.

It is important in these times when the weather is bad that you keep the lads training because they need to do that and they have trained well.

Every one of them has made it in, which is great and there’s a great spirit in the camp.

On the derby…

It is strange how it worked out because there were a lot of North West teams in League One compared to this league.

We had a very competitive game against Preston prior to Christmas. I felt they started the better of the two teams but we finished strongly and perhaps could have won it in the end.

We know Saturday’s game will be just as competitive. It will be fast and furious, as a lot of local derbies are, but we’ve got to be ready for action and we will be.

On injuries and suspensions …

Josh [Vela] has come back in now, he had a bit of a virus in the week but was able to do some training Wednesday and joined in fully on Thursday so that’s good news for us.

I feel Josh had played quite a lot of games back-to-back and the enforced break he had with the injury would have freshened him up as well.

Otherwise nothing additional to last week. Reece Burke had a whack to the ankle but he’s fine now and everybody else is available.

Karl Henry and Mark Little have been training well this week.They're suspended for this one but will be ready if selected at Reading on Tuesday.

On new signing Jan Kirchhoff…

Jan [Kirchhoff] has settle in well.

He played about 70 minutes for the Under-23s on Monday and looked fine. Ideally we were going to have a practice game with him on Thursday to see him in the first team environment, but the weather wouldn’t allow it. He is certainly getting there.

On Preston North End and their season so far…

They will be one of the teams who still think they can get that sixth place, which seems the only place available now as the top five looks set.

So far they have had a good season. Since we drew with them, I don’t think they have lost too many games.

The Ipswich result was probably one of their poorest performances for a while. Like us, they lost a striker by selling Hugill to West Ham but they have other good players and it will be a tough game but it is one which I feel, if we are at our very best, we’ve got a great chance of getting a result.

And finally, how the fans could be the difference…

I feel since Gary left the fans have really galvanised and got behind the team and that’s going to be crucial.

When you get a big away support, it’s important we keep those Preston fans as quiet as possible and the key way of doing that is by in the way we go about our business on the pitch.

Our supporters, as ever, can play a big part and they’ve been terrific for us this season, so more of the same from them please!

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