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INTERVIEW | Phil Parkinson ahead of Accrington Stanley

The boss speaks ahead of tomorrow's clash

17 November 2023

Phil Parkinson is hoping to extend his side’s unbeaten run when the Red Dragons travel to face Accrington Stanley in Sky Bet League Two.

They returned to league action last weekend with an impressive and accomplished 2-0 victory over Gillingham.

There was a jubilant mood around the STōK Cae Ras when Ollie Palmer opened the scoring after less than a minute and then Ben Tozer wrapped up victory in the second half.

That victory moved Parkinson’s men into second place in the table, and he explained it had been another positive week on the training ground.

He said: “It’s been a good week and the lads who didn’t feature at the weekend had a session on Monday including and they all joined up together on Tuesday.

“I’ve enjoyed the training so far; we’ve got one more good day’s work to go before Saturday [speaking on Thursday.]”

Tomorrow’s opponents also occupy a space at the right end of the table, with Stanley sitting in 8th place in Sky Bet League Two.

After failing to avoid the drop from League One the season before, John Colemen’s side will be hoping to bounce straight back at the first time of asking.

Last time out on the road the Red Dragons overcame Mansfield Town in the First Round of the Emirates FA Cup.

Ahead of travelling to the Wham Stadium tomorrow afternoon, Parkinson believes that sticking to the game plan will be crucial to securing victory.

He said: “There’s a real togetherness around the Club with both the fans and players in sync with each other.

“The lads really enjoy it when we have a large away following like we did at Notts County and that just adds to the occasion. We’ve played a lot of games like that, and we are used to it.

“We will go there confident, but respectful with a clear understanding of the game plan needed to get the result.”

After 17 matches so far this season, the Reds sit on 33 points and five behind the league leaders Stockport County.

An inconsistent start to the campaign is now firmly in the past, as victory on Saturday could make it twelve unbeaten for Wrexham.

There have been some impressive victories to add to that list, with a trademark late comeback against Salford City, and a superb win away win at Notts County.

Despite being in good form, Parkinson admitted that they are enjoying life back in the EFL.

He said: “The lads are confident but respectful of every opposition we face, and we go into tomorrow against a side that is in and around the play-offs.

“We expected them to be in this position, they’ve got an experienced manager and some good players in their squad.

“It’s a game I’m looking forward to, it’s a really tight ground, compact, and will create a good atmosphere.”

That winning run hasn’t come the easy way either, with key players to the squad absent through injury and suspension.

Both Ryan Barnett and Eoghan O’Connell are progressing their recovery from their longer-term injuries, and Aaron Hayden returned to the starting lineup last weekend.

This Saturday there are further absences, with both Jacob Mendy and James McClean out on international duty.

Mendy made the full Gambia squad, and McClean was only scheduled to feature against New Zealand on Tuesday, has now been called up to The Netherlands fixture.

When assessing the squad, Parkinson sees the game as another opportunity for players to step up.

He said: “It hasn’t gone to plan for us because Jacob got the call up for The Gambia and then James started the week with us but then got the call on Wednesday evening.

“I got a call from James explaining that they had injuries in the squad and the manager wanted him out there and he has been a loyal servant for the Republic of Ireland.

“He can’t turn down a call from his country when they need him. As a staff, we have discussed it and we are all in sync with what we need to do and it will be another opportunity for somebody.”

As tomorrow’s fixture falls outside of the Article 48 window, you can tune into the game live on iFollow Wrexham in the UK and around the world.

 


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