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INTERVIEW | Phil Parkinson after AFC Wimbledon draw

Wrexham boss reflects on Wimbledon point

12 August 2023

Wrexham AFC manager Phil Parkinson spoke to the assembled press and media after his side were forced to settle for a point as Elliot Lee’s goal was cancelled out by a late second-half penalty from James Tilley.

“It was a hard-earned point,” explained Parkinson. “They are a very direct physical team and we had to contend with a lot of balls into the box, first balls and second balls and I thought in the main, we dealt with that well.

“We would’ve liked to have shown more quality ourselves but when we did, we looked dangerous.

Parkinson was full of praise for the players’ efforts in London, after the Red Dragons claimed their first point of the season.

“I think the lads deserve a lot of credit. There’s a lot of positives today. I thought we were resolute as a team, when we did link a lot of passes together, we looked like the team to go and win the game.”

“All in all, it’s been a tough first week with the opening game, but I think the response was good against Wigan.

“As I’ve said before, we are going to change the team around while we get up to speed so there may be a few surprising decisions, but we have to get people firing on all cylinders.”

Ben Foster returned to the starting line-up and provided an excellent save to deny Ali Al-Hamadi from the spot in the 66th minute.

“He was brilliant today, Ben (Foster). His penalty save was fantastic, it was a good performance from him and one that deserved to be on the winning side.”

Parkinson went on to praise both Will Boyle and James McClean, who made their competitive debuts for the Red Dragons.

“I thought Will was outstanding. He picked up a calf injury out in Philadelphia and it was a real shame. He hasn’t trained much but I felt we needed to get him some game time and he played today like a real good player - that’s what he is.

“McClean came in and we changed the system, he didn’t really have enough quality balls into him, but he absolutely worked his socks off.

“That’s why James has had such a great career, because his work effort for the side when it’s not always going your way, he stood strong for us and put in a real shift for the team.”  

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