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In his own words: Phil Parkinson post-Nottingham Forest

6 May 2018

Bolton Wanderers will play Championship football once again in 2018/19 after a rollercoaster game between Nottingham Forest ended in a 3-2 victory for the Whites.

Substitute Adam Le Fondre opened the scoring for Wanderers in the second half, before the visitors levelled the scores through Ben Osborn.

Jack Colback put Forest ahead with ten minutes to go, before defender David Wheater equalised with three minutes to play.

Seconds later, Aaron Wilbraham turned wrote his name in the Bolton history books by scoring the winning goal with two minutes to spare to secure the Trotters' survival.

After the final whistle, manager Phil Parkinson caught up with bwfc.co.uk and spoke about the following topics…

On that feeling of being a Championship club for 2018/19…

It’s just amazing feeling. It almost hasn’t sunk in yet. When the whistle went, me and Steve (Parkin) just grabbed each other and said, ‘We’ve done it!’ and I had to ask if he was sure.

Because, you never know until the last minute, a goal could have gone in elsewhere or something, but what a feeling.

We’ve been on a poor run and we know that, but when it mattered most, we have come up with the performance to keep us up in the division.

On whether he thought it was possible in the 85th minute…

I said in the press that we had to keep going and with five minutes to go, we were getting beat and we just had to go and win today.

We didn’t feel like we’d done that in recent games and let the pressure get to us and it sometimes looks like the lads aren’t giving their all.

But it’s just the pressure of the situation and we put it all to one side and ran our hearts out.

We should have scored goals before we did, but in the end, we got the important goals to keep us in the division.

On the goal scorers…

Alfie was very disappointed to be left out as you could imagine, but we went with a team that was right for the game.

Knowing that Alfie is a terrific man to bring off the bench and he got the goal.

Wheater with his first goal of the season. There is that saying that people are due a goal.

But what I will say about him is he’s come up with the goods when it mattered most.

And Aaron Wilbraham, I am so pleased for him. He’s not been a very popular figure at times with the supporters and I think that has been due to his lack of game time.

But behind the scenes, he has been magnificent around the building and a demon in training.

But not just his goal, his all-round performance gave us a platform to play into and we looked a more potent team.

On how it compared to the end of last season…

It almost feels better because of the magnitude of the division we’re in.

I won’t go through the problems we’ve had but everyone knows.

Last year, if we hadn’t won, we had to play-offs to fall back into but today it was do or die.

We all know this squad needs investment. Everybody knows that, and I don’t think the club has spent money on a player since 2015.

We now need to build of this squad and take the club forward.

It’s a terrific club and it’s not just the stadium and the fans.

I said before, the people who work behind the scenes at Macron Stadium and the training ground, there’s a terrific spirit from the team behind the team and that is so important going forward.

On enjoying the summer before another Sky Bet Championship season…

I have a feeling that this changes the whole summer.

I thought the support was great today because we knew picking the team, with leaving Alfie out could’ve created some negativity.

But I have to give the supporters credit, the atmosphere in the first half in particular was terrific and I have to thank them.

They have stuck with us through thick and thin. But you have to do that as a supporter.

There’s been many tough days, but we had last year’s promotion and today to savour.


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