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Future for Bolton is bright under "stable" new boss Parkinson

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Dean Holdsworth has taken some pressure off new boss Phil Parkinson, claiming stability is more important than instant success at Wanderers.

Though a return to the Championship is very much the aim at the Macron Stadium, turning round a club which has been in terminal decline since the Premier League days will not be a short-term fix.

The ownership remains hard at work righting the wrongs of the previous regime and, speaking exclusively to The Bolton News, Holdsworth says the new manager, who signed a two-year contract on Friday, can rely on their full support.

“We all want the same things – to get back into the Championship, to start the season well, but we have to be calm and appreciate there is still a lot of hard work ahead for Phil, for all of us,” he said.

“I like to stay grounded with my thoughts because if you over-promise things, you under-achieve.

“As long as there is some empathy with the ownership and the job we are trying to do, what we can give and what we cannot at this moment in time.

“We are all ready to roll our sleeves up and Phil’s record shows he is a balanced individual who can bring some stability.

“In my eyes, that is the most important thing. We have stared into the abyss, been five minutes away from huge problems in the court, and we shouldn’t forget that.

“Through this whole thing the most important thing for me is that we have a club to move into the future.

“Fans have something to support and I think this appointment makes for an exciting time, for us as the ownership and for the fans too.”

While Anderson took charge of the interview process, Holdsworth’s remit has been to ensure the football department is in the best possible shape for the new manager to take on.

Both owners had their own thoughts on what qualities the new man needed but once an obligation to Jimmy Phillips and Peter Reid had been fulfilled, Parkinson’s name was always near the top of the shortlist.

“He has got great pedigree and ticks a lot of boxes in what I was looking for,” Holdsworth said. “It is a significant step forward in the right direction. I think the players will respond to him and I’m really looking forward to seeing how he works with the team around him.

“From speaking with Ken Anderson I know he was impressed with how much knowledge Phil had of players at this level and in particular the squad he’s about to work with.

“We will give him as much help as we possibly can with structure, analysis, scouting and fitness and then it’s down to him.”

One of the main points raised by Parkinson in his first media interviews last Friday concerned recruitment and ridding the club of a transfer embargo which has been in place since the end of last year.

Holdsworth says the club is “hard at work” providing both the Football League and the Financial Fair Play authorities with the relevant paperwork and financial accounts to clear Wanderers’ name and enable the new manager to make signings as quickly as possible.

With the new campaign fast approaching, the former striker cannot hide the fact his appetite has now been whetted again and Holdsworth – who returns to the Macron today after a holiday – is looking forward to putting last season’s disappointments firmly in the past.

“We have to move forward,” he said. “This is an exciting time for me because I have been on that side of the fence, done management and coaching, got my pro licence and I am really looking forward to seeing how the new manager works on the technical side of the game.

“Pre-season has been organised and now that the manager is in, he can fine tune that to how he wants.

“This is football. That is what I love. It has been a hard time for everyone but putting the focus back on that will make everyone happy and if we can all pull in the right direction to help the manager, we can succeed, I honestly believe that.”


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