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Bolton Nuts » BWFC » Bolton Wanderers News » Parkinson and Jokanovic gearing up for difficult afternoon

Parkinson and Jokanovic gearing up for difficult afternoon

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karlypants

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
They both need points, in their bids to achieve different ambitions, but opposing managers Phil Parkinson and Slavisa Jokanovic will not be taking the other’s side lightly today.

Wanderers moved out of the relegation zone by pulling off a somewhat surprising victory against Bristol City last Friday.

The following day Fulham continued their charge towards the upper reaches of the Championship by beating Nottingham Forest.

It was the in-form Cottagers’ fifth straight league win, and seventh in an eight-game unbeaten run.

And Whites boss Phil Parkinson, who was frustrated by the hosts’ stoppage-time equaliser after spurning openings when they visited Fulham in October, anticipates a tough test when they meet again at the Macron this afternoon.

“Everyone knows they are a good side, they got to the play-offs last year against Reading and were probably unlucky not to progress to the final,” said Parkinson.

“They are probably in the best run of form they have had this season.

“We went down there and I was pleased with the way we played.

“At half time we always felt we’d need that second goal, we went all-out to get it, had several chances to kill the game off but we didn’t take them and got punished.

“But I think that level of performance will be needed again. We’ve beaten Bristol City and Cardiff at the Macron recently so we have to take great belief into this game against Fulham.”

Opposite number Slavisa Jokanovic cannot help but be pleased with just one goal conceded in Fulham’s last four games, a run that includes a 6-0 win against Burton.

But, they were grateful to goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli for a quite brilliant double save in their last outing, a 2-0 win against Nottingham Forest.

Add heart-stopping moments from defensive slip-ups to the mix and it means the Serbian feels his side still have work to do to improve at the back.

“It’s good news, to be honest we made some defensive mistakes but fortunately we showed great spirit and Marcus Bettinelli made a great save at the end of the game,” he said.

“We cannot be overconfident and to be successful we must be focused, concentrated and trust and at the end we must be a little bit lucky.

“We find some kind of the luck in these few games, especially against Nottingham in the last few minutes and we must be focused to make sure we don’t give the opposition these chances to come back and avoid some mistakes and trust in ourselves.

“We can defend well and we can trust where we are off the ball, we are probably better with the ball than we are off it but we must improve this part of the game.”

Parkinson’s defence was the bedrock upon which last season’s promotion was built and attention must soon turn to new contracts for the men at the heart of the defence, with David Wheater and Mark Beevers among those players out of contract in the summer.

“Myself and Ken [Anderson, chairman] haven’t really had a chance to discuss it yet because of the transfer window, and that’s genuine,” said the Whites manager.

“It was a bit of a whirlwind with the deadline day and the games coming up – but we both had to focus on doing the best we could in that time.

“Without a doubt now there will be a conversation about contracts sooner rather than later.”

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