Bolton’s Parkinson hopes to see Wanderers’ ‘renewed energy’ in Bradford battle

Bolton manager Phil Parkinson says his club’s new lease of life can lift them against his old team Bradford.

Bolton are now just two points behind second-placed Scunthorpe and seven points behind top-of-the-table Sheffield United as they travel to fifth-placed Bradford.

With the Wanderers also having two games in hand on United, Parkinson is hopeful of topping the league.

“I think every team at the start of the season, the aim is to be at the top of the league and that’s what we’ve got to aim for.

“We’re in a strong position and we need to keep working and building towards that. We have had a good couple of wins, back to back wins at home, they’re very important for us.

“We go to the Bradford game full of confidence, with renewed energy. I think the new lads have brought that to us and we know it’s going to be a tough game.”

This week Wanderers signed former Wigan defender Reece Wabara on a deal until the end of the season.

Injuries to defenders Lewis Buxton and Lawrie Wilson have left Parkinson’s team without a recognised full back at the club.

Nevertheless, the manager feels Wabara was the best defender he could have signed with the transfer window now shut.

“He hasn’t played for a long time but we have had seven to ten days with him already and hopefully we can get him up to speed.”

Wabara and Bolton’s defence will play a crucial role in frustrating the home side – who Parkinson knows well after a five-year stint at Valley Parade.

“They’re obviously a top six team, they’ve been there all season and teams which are up there at this stage are the best teams in the league for obvious reasons.

“They’re a very fluid team which is both their strength and their weakness. They’ve got players like Nikki Lloyd who play off the shape and get into little pockets and you’ve got to be aware of that.

“But equally when you win the ball back there are spaces to be exploited and we’ve got to be calm enough in what’s going to be a real hostile atmosphere.

“We’ve got to be calm enough to play and that’s what I’ve been speaking to the lads about, but it’s going to be a terrific game and we can’t wait for it.” 

Image courtesy of Bolton Wanderers via YouTube, with thanks.

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