Updated: Thursday, 21st November 2019 @ 5:16pm

Bolton's Parkinson highlights 'home team mentality' as key to Walsall success

Bolton's Parkinson highlights 'home team mentality' as key to Walsall success

| By Sam Wright

Phil Parkinson believes this weekend’s clash with League One strugglers Walsall is the perfect opportunity to end their winless streak.

The Bolton boss wants to ‘make up for disappointing results’ by halting a run of three games without a victory.

Playing in their first third-tier campaign in 24 years, Bolton made a blistering start to life in League One.

But four wins from four has been replaced by three draws from three with Wanderers clinging on to top spot.

This weekend sees the Trotters travel to the Bescot Stadium to face a Walsall side teetering above the drop zone, and Parkinson sees it as a great chance for his side to return to winning ways.

“We go into every game confident we can win,” Parkinson told MM.

“We’ve had a good look at them during the week and we’ll select a team that we think is good enough to go there and get the three points.

“Walsall nearly made it out of this division last year. They’re a smaller club really - if you look at the crowds they get compared with other clubs in the division - but as they’ve shown, along with teams like Burton, they can’t be underestimated.

“It will be a very tight game but we know exactly what we have to do.”

Bolton’s form on the road has so far been exemplary [seven points from a possible nine] and continuing that will be a key factor in the club’s promotion charge.

“Walsall will be really up for this game and we’ve got to make sure that we go down there with the home team mentality ourselves.

“We’ve got a big away following and we need to play quick, high energy football to give us the best chance.

“There’s a big prize at stake because another victory down there would keep us firmly at the top of the table.”

But they’ll have to do it without their talismanic captain, Jay Spearing, who is suspended after accruing five yellow cards in just seven matches.

And while his manager admits concern over Spearing’s disciplinary record, he is keen to retain the aggression and dedication that’s helped make Spearing the club’s player of the month for August.

“Jay’s a very committed player,” Parkinson said. “Obviously referees, especially at this stage of the season, can be quick to brandish yellow cards.

“At the same time we don’t need him to pick up bookings at quite the ratio he has but I don’t want to stop that competitive side of his game either.

“We’ve got options to replace him; either by changing the system or giving someone an opportunity.”

The match kicks off at 3pm this Saturday at the Bescot Stadium in Walsall.

Image courtesy of BWFC via YouTube, with thanks.