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INTERVIEW | Phil Parkinson previews Grimsby Town clash

Parkinson looks ahead to Mariners visit to North Wales

15 September 2023

Phil Parkinson’s men are looking to make it three home victories in a row, when they face Grimsby Town on Saturday.

Wins against Newcastle United U21s and Doncaster Rovers have set up the opportunity to make it a clean sweep when the Mariners visit the STōK Cae Ras.

Last weekend saw Elliot Lee provide more late drama, scoring in the 89th minute to seal the victory and propel the Red Dragons into the play-off places.

It was his sixth league goal of the campaign, and ahead of tomorrow’s clash, Parkinson explained he is looking forward to getting back out there once again.

He said: “It’s been a good week for us with the reserves having a game on Tuesday which was a good opportunity for players to get minutes like Jordan Tunnicliffe.

“It was a mixture of some of the lad’s getting minutes in that game with some of the younger ones. It’s a great education for them because Accrington played a strong side, and the game was on their main pitch.

“The lads who have been here have trained well so it has been a productive week for us.”

The Club were without the versatile, experience and class of James McClean for both the EFL Trophy and Rovers fixture as he was called up for international duty.

Republic of Ireland were narrowly edged out in their two Euro 2024 qualifying campaign matches against France and The Netherlands.

He becomes the first Wrexham player to represent the Club whilst away on international duty since Keanu Marsh-Brown featured Guyana in 2021.

After playing against some of the world’s best, Parkinson credited McClean for what has been a terrific journey for both Club and country.

“It’s great and for Macca to make over 100 international appearances especially being in a small band of players who have achieved that.

“To play France and Holland is great and I’m sure even at Macca’s age it is good to come up against players of that calibre.”

The victory against Doncaster Rovers saw the much-anticipated return of Paul Mullin as well as the debut of our latest signing Steven Fletcher.

It was the first appearance for Mullin since the injury he sustained against Manchester United in San Diego during pre-season.

For Fletcher, it was his first piece of competitive football of the 23/24 season, after signing as on a free-transfer the day before the match.

With a full week’s training behind them, Parkinson added he is pleased with the progress that they have both made.

He said: “Fletch [Steven Fletcher] has done a lot of running during the off season but he needed football training so the period he had on the pitch was good.

“He’s had a really good week on the training pitch but we don’t want to get him injured by overtraining him but he’s got a bit of catching up to do.

“He’s got real quality and I’ve enjoyed watching him train this week.

“Mulls [Paul Mullin] is fine, he had the half an hour last week and each day he’s getting sharper and sharper.

“It’s great to see because he had that period of inactivity but now he’s had an extended period either running with our Sports Science team or back in full training.”

Tomorrow’s opposition currently sit in 12th place, with two wins, five draws and one defeat making up their start so far.

Their summer signing Abo Eisa has proved to be a success at the top of the pitch, scoring four goals in the opening seven fixtures.

The last time we took on Grimsby Town in all competitions came in the National League play-off semi-final, which ended in a nine-goal thriller which went the way of the Mariners.

A lot has changed since then, and Parkinson believes that it was a testament to both teams, and that they are both improved sides now.

He said: “The two league games we played against Grimsby that season were tight and in the home one Ollie Palmer scored the winner on his debut.

“The play-off game was an extraordinary game of football and every time either team went forward, they looked like they could score.

“Unfortunately, we came out on the wrong side of it but a lot of water has gone under the bridge since then.

“We’ve improved, they’ve improved, and it should be a cracking game.”

Before kick-off on Saturday, we will hold a minute’s silence to remember the 266 lives that were tragically lost in the Gresford Colliery Disaster.

At 2:08 a.m. on September 22, 1934, an explosion rocked the Dennis section of the mine causing a fire, which resulted in a tragic loss of life.

There were more than 500 men underground that night – a number tragically much larger than usual as many had many doubled-on shifts to watch Wrexham play Tranmere Rovers at the Racecourse Ground later that afternoon. 

Earlier this week, Parkinson invited George Powell from the Wrexham Miners Rescue Centre to the Club to give a talk to the players.

“We had the chat from George yesterday and I think that it’s really important because we’re always stressing to the players about the Club and area we represent,” Parkinson began.

“We speak to the players about the pride they should have every time they pull on a Wrexham shirt and this is a poignant weekend for the area, and the lads are fully aware of that.”

 

 

 


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