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Bristol City v Wanderers: Phil Parkinson calls for focus from players

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Phil Parkinson knows the record books will not care about Wanderers’ off-the-field challenges if they fail in their fight to stay in the Championship.

Despite facing a flood of distractions since September, the Bolton boss has issued a warning to his players that loss of focus will not be tolerated during the final 20 games, which commence with a trip to Bristol City this afternoon.

Wanderers are currently in a registration embargo imposed by the EFL but will be given scope to re-sign free agent Gary O’Neil.

The bad news for Parkinson is that the experienced midfielder is side-lined with an Achilles tendon problem and will not be available for the trip to Ashton Gate.

And though that might sound par for the course in a testing campaign, he is adamant the players he has available are capable of repeating last season’s survival bid.

“My view is than in two or three years’ time, people won’t look back and say ‘oh yeah, Bolton had a few problems to deal with,’ it’ll just be looking at what position we finish the season in so we’ve got to be strong enough to block anything that’s away from the pitch out of our minds, don’t use it as an excuse, concentrate on what we’ve got to do and give it absolutely everything, which we’ve done, and there is work to be done on the squad and hopefully that can be done before the end of January,” he said.

“But if it isn’t, we’ll have to focus on the players we’ve got, and we’ve got some very good ones, and some good young players who are champing at the bit to get involved as well.”

Wanderers have traded within embargo before, and Ken Anderson maintains he can still do business within the remit of the restrictions imposed.

“At the moment the chairman is working with the Football League to rectify the situation and I hope it will be resolved, as everyone can see there are already teams being very active in the transfer market so hopefully, we can work towards it,” Parkinson said.

“And if it doesn’t happen I’m ready to concentrate on working with the players we’ve got and putting in competitive Championship performances.”


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