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We cannot feel sorry for ourselves, says Parkinson

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karlypants

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Wanderers’ current woes are unlikely to attract sympathy from outside the camp, and Phil Parkinson is adamant no one at the club can start to feel sorry for themselves.

Bolton’s fine start to the season, with 10 points from the first four games, has given way to a barren run, both in terms of goals and points.

And although his side is streets ahead of where they found themselves after 15 Championship games last term, one win in 11 outings mean the pressure has been building for Parkinson – and his position believed to be under threat – in recent weeks.

But with performances better than is suggested by those depressing numbers the manager is confident his team can get a result at Villa Park this evening, provided his positivity rubs off on his players.

“It’s been hugely frustrating,” he said. “The performances have deserved more points than we’ve got recently but we’ve still got double the amount of points at this stage than we had last year, I don’t think you can hide away from that.

“The overall picture is better, but obviously recently we haven’t picked up the points we should have done.

“We’ve got to make sure we don’t feel sorry for ourselves. We’ve got it within the group to turn this indifferent run around and I’m confident we will do.

“There’s no motivation required, Villa Park is a great stage to play at.

“I’ve said many times the only way we’ll be successful and be able to compete in this division is if we all pull together.

“It is the only way for us because of where we are in terms of the finances etcetera, and it’s a case of everybody around the training ground, everyone feeling appreciated, from the top to the bottom.

“We want to go out and win the Villa game and the only way we’ll do that is by being positive.”

Last Saturday’s narrow defeat to Hull City was symptomatic of how Wanderers have had few problems in their approach work but have been found wanting at the business end of the pitch.

And Parkinson remains convinced if his playmakers continue as they have recently the goals and the results will return, with the players’ confidence sure to follow suit.

“It’s not the approach play that’s been the problem,” he said. “Against Hull for instance we had a number of very good opportunities. It’s been that final cross missing the first man, reacting to second-phase situations at set plays, hoping something’s going to happen rather than making it happen, just concentrating on working the goalkeeper more than we have done.

“So the approach play has been good but we’ve got to find that edge about us, that only comes through working on the training ground and we’ve got players with confidence, Erhun Oztumer is a great example of that – he put in a terrific performance the other day, when you analyse his performance and his desire to try and make something happen.

“He’s got to keep doing that because the moments will keep coming for him, and when they do he’ll get more of them. Sometimes in football it happens like that and at the moment we’ve got to work our way out of this situation.”

Villa will be without holding midfielder Birkir Bjarnason, who suffered a groin injury in last Saturday’s defeat at Queens Park Rangers.

Villa’s new manager Dean Smith could bring back winger Albert Adomah, who has trained after his knee injury.

Parkinson said Sammy Ameobi has been training this week while Stephen Ireland is expected to report with the squad at Lostock next week.

“Sammy is back in training, he’s trained well so we’ll just monitor how he’s going on,” he said.

“Stephen should be training with us next week. We have seen signs that we’re getting back to where we need to be and we’ll look forward to giving a good account of ourselves at Villa.

“Without a doubt we’ve got enough quality to get a result, we’ve proved that – and correct me if I’m wrong but Sammy got injured in the first game of the season.

“We’ve got some terrific results with him out injured so the players are more than capable.”

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