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Bolton better equipped for Brentford, says Phil Parkinson

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karlypants

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Phil Parkinson reckons his Wanderers have now found the survival instincts which were missing when last they met Brentford.

Dean Smith’s side took away a comfortable 3-0 win at the Macron in September, leaving the Whites rock bottom and in the midst of their longest-ever goal drought.

Wanderers had chances to take the lead early on but then lost their way completely once Yoann Barbet had put the Bees on their way just before half time.

The collapse was such that even Parkinson questioned whether there was enough quality in his squad to avoid an immediate return to League One – but the Bolton boss has since masterminded a steady improvement and goes into this weekend’s game in a much more positive frame of mind.

Having broken their away jinx at Sheffield United before the turn of the New Year and beaten fellow strugglers Hull City in their last home game in the league, things are looking much rosier for Wanderers as they head to West London.

Brentford sit 11th with just one home loss this season but Parkinson feels a confidence within his squad which makes him believe anything is possible.

“We know the danger Brentford possess,” he said. “The club has been built up steadily over the years and they’ve worked on that foreign market and done well, made some very good acquisitions.

“When we played them earlier in the season we had a great 20 minutes and should have taken the lead but in the end they scored three fantastic goals – a free kick, and two when we opened up trying to get back into the game.

“I’ve got the utmost respect for Brentford and I think we’ve got to go there with the same attitude we had at Sheffield United. We have got to fight hard.”

With Darren Pratley and Karl Henry still out injured it remains to be seen whether Parkinson will go with two holding midfielders in front of his back four, or revert to the back three which struggled in the corresponding fixture.

“We played in the way we have done at home, played on to teams and pressed them high up the pitch and within that we had chances to get that goal,” he said.

“But equally in the second half we left ourselves exposed and got punished because they are a good side. We’ll learn a lesson from that but sometimes when you chase the game it’s the gamble you take.”

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