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We must land first telling blow, says assistant Parkin

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karlypants

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Success or failure for Bolton Wanderers today against Swansea City could well be a case of who strikes first.

Assistant Bolton boss Steve Parkin is acutely aware that his side’s record after conceding the opening goal this season has been poor.

Of the 10 occasions it has happened since August, Wanderers have gone on to lose eight times and draw twice. Conversely, when Bolton have scored first they have won four and drawn two.

The worrying trend has continued from last season where the team failed to win a single one of the 27 games in which they shipped the first goal, recovering just five points.

And the pattern is not lost on Parkin, who says the team have doubled their efforts this week to try and ensure they do not give Swansea a head start at the University of Bolton Stadium.

“The facts are the facts,” he said. “If we concede early then we’ve found it really hard to get a result. If we get a goal in front we either win or draw – very rarely lose.

“We have to start games better, be more dogged, show more concentration to keep the ball out of the net.

“Football is such a difficult game when you concede early.

“With the exception of a few teams in the country – regardless of the league – there’s a lot of pressure on you to go and get a result. We have to rectify that. For me, that’s what we have to put right. I don’t mean go all guns blazing and score after five minutes but we have to make sure when we get to the latter stages we’re right in it.”

In Phil Parkinson’s first season, Wanderers recovered 15 points from 15 occasions on which they lost the first goal.

Since promotion, however, better quality opposition has proved less forgiving.

Swansea – relegated last season from the Premier League – have actually claimed more points than anyone else (nine) in the Championship after conceding the first goal.

Though packed with quality in attack, Parkin is convinced the Swans will leave opportunities at the back.

“They have some good attacking players, an attacking system. Their wide players are dangerous and you’ve got Bersant Celina in behind and Ollie McBurnie, who we had at Bradford, who’s a good player,” he said. “We will have to defend properly to stand a chance of winning the game but on the flipside, if we do that, I think we’ll get chances to win it.

“They are one of 10 or 11 teams who are expected to be right up there. They have got Premier League players. It’s up to us to upset the apple cart.”

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NickFazer

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El Hadji Diouf
El Hadji Diouf
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Dunkels King

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Nicolas Anelka
Nicolas Anelka
He should just say "they are one of 23 teams expected to finish above us" every week so we are fully prepared for the inevitable defeat.

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