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Phil Parkinson wants defensive edge against Fulham

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Phil Parkinson wants his defenders to be the standard bearers in Wanderers’ survival fight.

Pleased by the rearguard’s performance against Bristol City on Friday night, the Whites boss is looking to register back-to-back clean sheets for only the second time this season when free-scoring Fulham come to the Macron this weekend.

After watching a new-look back three of Dorian Dervite, David Wheater and Mark Beevers work well together to keep out one of the Championship’s top scorers in Bobby Reid, Parkinson is looking to gee up his defensive unit once again.

Only Wolves have scored more goals than Fulham’s 51 this term, 11 of which have come from the highly-rated teenager Ryan Sessegnon.

“Me and Steve Parkin spend a lot of time working with the defenders and telling them that those blocks, last-ditch tackles and clearances can be just as valuable as a goal,” he told The Bolton News. “It can give the whole team a lift, as we saw on Friday night.

“The standard of defending against Bristol City was very, very good across the board. And that has to be the example we set now. It has to go into every game we have remaining this season, starting with Fulham.”

Dervite put in another encouraging performance to match his man of the match display against Ipswich Town a few weeks ago, and with Reece Burke now back in the fold, Parkinson is happy with the options available.

“Dorian has worked really hard to get back into the team and he did well again the other night,” the manager said.

“We’ve got Reece who can step in there as well - and he’ll be itching to get back into the equation, so we are looking quite strong in that respect.

“Beevs and Wheater put in the kind of performance we expect of them against Bristol City but I can’t stress enough, that has got to be the norm.

“Other than the start of the season, when the standard of defending wasn’t high enough, I think we have defended well. It has given us a chance in games.”


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