Q&A With Millwall

  • April 10, 2018 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/2aaab

Phil Parkinson deserves to remain in charge of Bolton next season, irrespective of which division they will play their football.

Those are the views of Millwall supporter Stephen Jones (@SPJ91), who spoke to us ahead of Tuesday's Sky Bet Championship clash with Wanderers at Macron Stadium.

In the following Q&A interview, Stephen shares his views on Millwall's unthinkable push towards the Premier League, the threat of Trotters forward Adam Le Fondre, as well as a personal opinion on the management of Parkinson - who celebrates 100 games in charge of the hosts.

Q: Neil Harris was a man under pressure earlier in the season, after a series of mixed results left Millwall languishing in the lower reaches of the Championship. However, a run of 15 league games without defeat - 10 of which have been victories - have you on the brink of the play-offs. What changed to spark that rise up the table?

A: He wasn't under pressure from the majority of our fan base. We were actually playing very well before this 15-game run - we just couldn't seem to put the ball in the back of the net!

That has been a huge part of the unbeaten run. We're finding the net virtually every week and goals are coming from all over the park.

At the other end, teams are finding it very difficult to break us down. Our back four have been in outstanding form since Christmas. They throw themselves in front of everything and give all they have to protect Jordan Archer in goal, and it's clearly working.

Q: In Lee Gregory and George Saville, the Lions have two players who have registered double figures in terms of goals this season. Should Wanderers fans see either of these as your key men, or would you put somebody else at the top of that list?

A: Both Gregory and Saville have had brilliant seasons for us and have grabbed the headlines after their goal-scoring exploits.

They will be threats to your back four but, for me, our most dangerous player is Jed Wallace.

He's a real explosive winger, always looks like he's going to provide something special. He has scored six and assisted nine goals this season. If he's anywhere near his best, he'll give your left-back a real tough evening on Tuesday.

Q: This game represents Phil Parkinson's 100th in charge of Bolton, having taken on a seemingly impossible job in June 2016. As a supporter of a team who has very little money to spend, what have you made of the job Parkinson has done at Macron Stadium and should he be kept on if he fails to keep the club in the division?

A: I think he's doing the best he can with the funds and squad available to him.

It's always difficult when you're up against some of the clubs in the Championship and you aren't able to bring in the players you might want to. We have shown that it is possible to bring in Championship quality players on a budget but it's incredibly rare that sides pull it off.

I think he should be given a chance back in League One (if Bolton are relegated) but something drastic has to happen off the field to give him any chance of building a competitive Championship side.

Q: Having seen Wanderers' decline in recent weeks, do you think they have what it takes to retain their Championship status or does life in League One beckon next season?

A: I actually had a conversation with some friends about four weeks ago and casually stated that Bolton had done enough. It appeared all three promoted sides from League One would have had good season, but right now I really don't know.

Looking at your fixtures, it's going to take a huge effort to pick up the two or three wins that will see you safe.

I'll be bold and stick with my prediction that you'll be ok, just. But it's going right to the wire for you guys I think.

Q: Filipe Morais was on target for the Trotters in a 1-1 draw at The Den last August, but has found himself out of the side of late. So, who do you think Harris will identify as our key man?

A: I've always been a massive fan of Adam Le Fondre.

He's a similar striker to Lee Gregory with his movement and is deadly inside the penalty box. He's one our defenders will have to to keep a close eye on.

Another is former Lion Mark Beevers. He loves a goal from a set-piece.

Q: Finally, what is your score prediction for Tuesday's game?

A: I have to go with my own team I'm afraid - Bolton 0-2 Millwall.

Sky Bet Championship Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
19 Birmingham City 46 46
20 Reading 46 44
21 Bolton Wanderers 46 43
22 Barnsley 46 41
23 Burton Albion 46 41
View Full Standings >>

Poll

Who is Bolton's 2017/18 Player of the Year?
53.85% Ben Alnwick
13.11% Sammy Ameobi
10.49% Karl Henry
8.39% Antonee Robinson
4.98% David Wheater
3.41% Mark Beevers
2.1% Mark Little
1.84% Josh Vela
1.57% Darren Pratley
0.26% Reece Burke