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Parkinson says fans are starting to believe they can escape relegation after victory over Barnsley

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karlypants

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Phil Parkinson feels he’s starting to make believers out of those who doubted Wanderers’ survival credentials.

A 3-1 victory over Barnsley helped the Whites out of the bottom three for the first time since August, and they will stay safe if Birmingham City are beaten by Wolves in the Championship tonight.

Written off by many after failing to win in their first 11 outings, Bolton are no longer most bookmakers’ favourites for relegation.

And more importantly, Parkinson reckons the message is seeping into the Macron Stadium too.

“We’re looking better,” he said after the final whistle. “I think the players are starting to believe in themselves more and that goes for the supporters too.

“I was so pleased with the crowd’s response when we’d gone 3-1 up because we needed the lift. There were some tired legs out there at that point and we knew we’d come under some pressure.

“When your fans give you that kind of reaction it can help bring the extra few per cent out of the lads and I thank them for that.”

Gary Madine scored twice, with full-back Mark Little adding his first goal since signing from Bristol City in the summer to cap off a perfect riposte to the previous weekend’s mauling at Molineux.

Parkinson had celebrated his 50th birthday a day earlier but says the way his side took control early in the second half was the perfect present.

“Having the fans see us go and get that third goal was so important,” he told The Bolton News.

“We always talk about it, like at Fulham, could we get that goal to kill teams off? We have shown we can do it now.”

Wanderers have lost just once in nine games but last weekend’s heavy defeat at Wolves prompted questions about whether Parkinson’s men could bounce back immediately against a Barnsley side who had lost their last three.

“It’s always about the response,” the manager said. “Whenever you get beat like that you look at yourself as a player and as staff and wonder what you could have done better. Mentally we were very tough.”

Parkinson also had some words of praise for keeper Ben Alnwick, who pulled off some fine second-half saves.

“Ben was excellent,” he said. “We knew Barnsley were going to have moments in the game because they have a lot of attacking players. When they did get shots in on goal, Ben did well.”

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