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In his own words: Phil Parkinson post-Aston Villa

17 March 2018

An early Adam Le Fondre goal earned Wanderers a hard-fought 1-0 victory against Aston Villa at Macron Stadium on Saturday evening.

The Whites took the lead midway through the first half, after a Darren Pratley flick-on from a corner at the near post found its way through to Le Fondre who tapped in from three yards.

A late flurry of attacks came from the visitors, but a Jon Flanagan block from Scott Hogan’s shot and a superb Ben Alnwick save in injury time secured all three points for Phil Parkinson’s side.

And here is what the manager covered in his interview following the final whistle…

On the difficult snowy conditions…

We performed well in difficult conditions against a very good Aston Villa side. The spotlight was right on us in terms of the TV cameras and kicking off later than the other teams.

I thought we handled it very well from one to eleven. It is very difficult to be critical of any player tonight.

On Adam Le Fondre’s performance…

I am really pleased with the goal. Darren Pratley made that run which he does well for us when those corners are mis-hit.

He got the nick on the near post and Alfie is there where goalscorers like to be in the six-yard box. It was his all-round performance tonight as well as his goal which sums it up for me.

Aston Villa have spent millions on their strike force, but I don’t think anyone could argue that he was the best striker on the pitch tonight.

On Darren Pratley’s injury status…

He had a whack on his shin where he broke his leg earlier in the season and was a doubt for the game, but wanted to play.

He got a knock on it again which is a worry, but we knew we had Josh on the bench who is a great replacement and didn’t hesitate to make the change.

I thought Josh came in and did really well for us.

On the fans' support…

It was a great atmosphere and it reminded me of the games last year towards the end of the season when there was 18/19,000 in the ground. It was a terrific atmosphere.

It’s always difficult when you get four or five thousand away fans in any ground because they can have the tendency to take over, but that didn’t happen today.

On constantly performing against the odds…

I think we are relishing the challenge. I said in the press leading up to the game that we have got a group of players who have strong character and are enjoying the pressure. 

That is what you need as players and you want in the team. They all stood up and were counted tonight and it was a real man’s performance.

On Jon Flanagan and Ben Alnwick’s late game heroics in the match…

I thought Flanno was very good tonight against a good player. We played him against Reading and Sheffield Wednesday in back to back games and we thought with a full week's training and two games that he would go up a level, and he certainly did tonight.

Ben has been excellent all season and it didn’t surprise us that he pulled off that save. He’s similar to Alfie in a way - it’s the big moments and consistency of his game in difficult conditions that was excellent tonight.

He came for crosses, his kicking was consistent and it was a solid performance.

On Derik Osede’s ability to adapt to the tough conditions…

I’ve been very pleased with him the last two games. Him and Karl (Henry) controlled things in there and picked up a lot of loose balls.

In addition to that, he passed the ball quickly to our wide players and that was important. Buckley and Ameobi looked dangerous and got the ball quickly and with quality.

And finall, on the upcoming international break before Leeds United…

We can enjoy the break and there’s players who’ve played a lot of football and need a break, but we'll then come back in training ready to go again.

Everybody knows that we have worked very hard to get into this situation and now we have to work even harder to make sure we go into the summer with our Championship status firmly retained.


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