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Phil Parkinson dismisses 'absurd' tactical talk at Bolton

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karlypants

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
After chalking up 1-0 wins over Sheffield United and Hull City with two completely different formations, Phil Parkinson has bit back at critics who say his side are tactically inflexible.

Wanderers carved out a hard-fought win at Bramall Lane on Saturday playing three at the back from the start for the first time since the 3-0 home defeat against Brentford in September.

Two days later, Parkinson made four changes to personnel and switched back to 4-2-3-1 to earn another impressive win against Hull City.

The Bolton boss has come under fire from some sections of the support for sticking with a lone front man in Gary Madine, rather than two up top, even prior to kick-off on Monday.

But Parkinson was in bullish mood after the final whistle after being asked if the festive results proved his team could win with a different approach.

“I don’t think they have been watching the games over the last 18 months,” he said. “We have played a diamond, we have played 4-2-3-1, we have played three at the back. We have changed the system so it’s absurd to say we haven’t used different systems.

“We had a lot of success with three at the back last season and went back to it at Sheffield United because the personnel looked good in that system.

“At home we went back to 4-2-3-1 because our recent home recent, aside from the Burton game, has been very, very good. Putting Vela in there allows the wider players to put on and join Gaz Madine quickly and it’s a system which has worked well for us.

“We are not good enough to say we’re going to play a certain way for the rest of the season because we will have to change things around from time to time.”

Madine’s rise to prominence continued against Hull, with the striker netting his ninth league goal of the season – matching his contribution for the whole of last season.

He is now halfway towards the 18 goals he managed on two occasions in 2011 and 2012 playing for Carlisle United and Sheffield Wednesday.

Regarded primarily as a target man through much of his Bolton career – Parkinson argues Madine has improved dramatically in other areas and is now providing himself to be an all-round player.

“He’s not big man who’s restricts how you play. He’s a technical player,” he said.

“He can also run in behind now. And you saw some of the quality we got into his feet against Hull and when we do that, into his feet, into his chest, we have got a great platform to play from.”

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