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INTERVIEW | Phil Parkinson ahead of Gillingham

Parkinson ahead of Gills clash

11 November 2023


INTERVIEW | Phil Parkinson ahead of Gillingham

Parkinson ahead of Gills clash

11 November 2023

Phil Parkinson is confident his side can extend their unbeaten run this weekend as the Red Dragons take on Gillingham FC.

It’s been a terrific run across all competitions, with standout victories against Salford City, Notts County and Mansfield Town.

The last week brought two impressive back-to-back cup wins as the Reds progressed in the Emirates FA Cup and the Bristol Street Motors Trophy.

After a welcome distraction from league football, Parkinson explained that they are looking forward to getting started once again.

He said: “It was pleasing to progress especially in the FA Cup because it was a good win for us.

“On Tuesday night it was important because it kept us ticking over in terms of form and it resulted in us getting a home tie.

"It's good to get back to league action. It's been a welcomed break and the lads are ready for tomorrow's game."

That winning run hasn’t come easy, especially with notable absences in the matchday squads.

Both Ryan Barnett and Eoghan O’Connell picked up injuries in the Sutton United fixture, whilst Jordan Tunnicliffe and Andy Cannon also took knocks.

This weekend they will be without Paul Mullin and James McClean who are serving a one match suspension.

Despite recent injury woes, the Wrexham boss added a positive update regarding players’ fitness ahead of today’s clash.

He said: “Everybody has had a decent week and Aaron Hayden and Jordan Tunnicliffe have been back out on the grass which is good to see.

“It’s important that they get some running in their legs and step up their training because it’s really important that they are available for selection as soon as possible.

“As I’ve spoken about already, Andy Cannon is not anywhere near as serious as we first feared.

“Paul and James have got this week to have a break. Some of the bookings are very harsh, obviously some can be avoided but it’s very easy to pick up yellow cards at the moment and a lot of clubs are finding that.”

“We’ll take our medicine on that one and get them back firing on all cylinders when they’re available next week.”

Tomorrow will mark the first Sky Bet League Two fixture at the helm for Stephen Clemence, who took charge just over a week ago.

The Gills sit in ninth place, but only one point off the play-off places and five behind the Red Dragons.

Clemence earned victory in his first game in the Emirates FA Cup First Round against Hereford and defeat in the Bristol Street Motors Trophy.

After a change in the dugout, Parkinson expects the Gills to be more aggressive when they visit the SToK Cae Ras.

He said: “They are an interesting team because they had a good start and were top of the league after the first four games.

“Obviously there was a bit of a narrative that they weren’t scoring enough goals, and they were doing okay but the board decided to change manager.

“Stephen Clemence has come in and his directive will be to be more attack-minded and what he’s been saying in the media has been an indication of that.

“It will be a cracking game and it is another top-of-the-table potential clash.”


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