Parkinson and Bolton Players Relishing Premier League Test

  • January 06, 2017 | By Chris Mann
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Phil Parkinson can't wait to pit his wits against Sam Allardyce on Saturday and see how his improving squad fare against Premier League opposition.

Wanderers play host to Crystal Palace in the third round of the FA Cup, with Parkinson looking to add another top-flight scalp to his own personal list - after previously seeing off clubs such as Chelsea, Arsenal and Aston Villa in knockout competitions during his time in charge at Bradford City.

Parkinson believes the clash against the Eagles will give the likes of Zach Clough and Josh Vela a platform to perform, as well as providing the manager with a chance to see just how good his team is as he prepares for the future.

"It's a great opportunity to test ourselves against Premier League opposition," Parkinson said.

"Myself and the staff get to come up against one of the top managers in the country and also the players. They're playing very well at the minute but it's a good test for us and one I'm looking forward to seeing.

"We haven't trained a great deal because we gave the lads a couple of days off after Monday. We felt they'd deserved it and we needed to let everybody at the training ground recharge their batteries in preparation for this game.

"I'm very pleased with the way the lads look and the quality of their training. You'd expect them to train well because it's a game where there is no pressure on us, we're not expected to win. We just want to give a good account of ourselves and keep our run of form going.

"You look at their team - Christian Benteke and Andros Townsend are £40-50million worth of players. They've got real quality and I think a lot of people who have looked at them, including myself, have found it a bit of a mystery as to why they're down at the bottom.

"We know there is a gulf in quality between the two teams but we've got to make up for that with endeavour and also show that when we've got the ball, we've got some quality footballers as well.

"Our players will be eager to show the watching public that we're a decent team but it's also a good chance for myself and the staff to look at our players to see where we are and how we're developing.

"We're trying to develop and build the club back up. If we can do that with a core of our own young players, their value is only going to increase. In my eyes - Clough and Vela, in particular - they're only just starting to fulfil their potential. We're pleased with their progress so far but there's more to come."

Sky Bet League Two Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
20 Tranmere Rovers 3 2
21 Oldham Athletic 3 0
22 Bolton Wanderers 3 0
23 Grimsby Town 2 0
24 Southend United 3 0
View Full Standings >>


Who is Bolton's 2018/19 Player of the Year?
34.62% Gary O'Neil
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