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Interviews

INTERVIEW | Phil Parkinson ahead of Notts County

Parkinson's side make the trip to face the high-flying Magpies

27 October 2023

Interviews

INTERVIEW | Phil Parkinson ahead of Notts County

Parkinson's side make the trip to face the high-flying Magpies

27 October 2023

Phil Parkinson’s side are set to reignite the flame from a former title rival on Saturday when the Red Dragons head to Meadow Lane to take on Notts County.

The two clubs both earned promotion from the National League last season in what was a record-breaking and historic campaign.

Wrexham finished on 111 points, meanwhile, Luke Williams's men achieved a fantastic points total of 107 points and won the promotion final against Chesterfield on penalties.

Now in the EFL, the pair have continued their rich form across the calendar year as they both sit in second and third in the Sky Bet League Two table.

Ahead of tomorrow’s fixture, Phil Parkinson explained that the two positions are a testament to the quality and hard work shown by both.

He said: “We’ve always had good games against Notts County going right across the last two years and I know Saturday is going to be a great game.

“I’m looking forward to it and I’m so pleased that we’re going into it on the back of another win and the point against Bradford City.

“We will go to Notts fully respecting them but full of confidence and looking to play our game against them.

“Last year the battle for the title put the National League on the map like it never had been before. That game at home was as high profile a game that you’re ever going to get at that level and we both adapted well.

“They’ve had some good victories but also some disappointing days as well and it’s great to see and I think everyone thought we would both be up there.

“I think other teams have raised their game in terms of recruitment which has made it a very competitive division and that’s what we’ve worked so hard to be a part of. I can’t wait for the game now at the weekend.”

In midweek his side had to remain patient to overcome a resolute Sutton United team that looked to frustrate the Red Dragons' attack.

Two outstanding finishes from Paul Mullin and Elliot Lee proved to be the difference in what was a hard-fought contest.

Mullin’s strike from 25 yards out was timed to perfection and dipped over Dean Bouzanis and into the top corner.

Lee couldn’t have struck his effort any sweeter, as his venomous volley flew into the back of the net.

Reflecting on the result, the Wrexham boss expressed his delight at the manner of the victory.

He said: “It was an outstanding finish from Paul right out of the top drawer, and second half they continued to disrupt the game and break up our rhythm.

“We still had moments and unfortunately for us, they got the goal back but we responded really well and in that final period, the pressure told in the end.

“They were throwing their bodies on the line really well and defended our set pieces incredibly well.

“With the quality that we’ve got you feel if we’ve got that much possession around the penalty area something is going to happen, and Elliot produced a real quality goal.

“If you saw both of those goals in the Champions League they’d be highlighted because they were superb, and it was an excellent win for us.”

However, the fixture wasn’t without its difficulties as both Eoghan O’Connell and Ryan Barnett both exited the field of play through injury.

It was only Barnett’s second fixture back from the red card he received against Crewe Alexandra, and O’Connell had made progress from the previous problem he sustained.

Speaking on their situation and the squad's fitness, Parkinson added: “The lads look good. We’ve had a couple of injuries from Tuesday night which is part and parcel but always frustrating to lose players.

“Both of Ryan and Eoghan have seen a specialist to help us get a clearer picture of those injuries.

“The lads who didn’t play the whole game on Tuesday are doing more because people have to be ready to step in and we have full confidence in the squad.

“The decision that myself, Steve, Dave, and Aidan have got over the next 24 hours is how much do we freshen up the squad.

“All the players that we’ve got in our squad are more than capable of going there and equipping themselves really well.”

Notts County have made a strong start to life in the EFL, sitting in second place and leading the way as the league’s top goal scorers.

As well as the ever-dangerous Macauley Langstaff, they have bolstered their attacking ranks with the addition of David McGoldrick and Dan Crowley.

Between the three of them, they have scored the bulk of their goals, netting 24 times in 15 matches.

Despite their attacking threat, Parkinson explained he is looking forward to the battle ahead and imposing their game on the Magpies come 3pm.

He said: “We will go to Notts fully respecting them but full of confidence and looking to play our game against them.

“As always do we’ve looked at Notts County and done our research. Have they changed much since the start of the season, probably not. They are a similar team and obviously have threats going forward.

“They are vulnerable defensively and we need to make sure that we get the balance right in our play that we’re secure out of possession.

“When we’re in possession we have to be really positive against them and look to exploit the spaces we know they’ll leave.”

 


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