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Parkinson sees promise in new strike partnership

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karlypants

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Positives have hardly been plentiful for Phil Parkinson at Wanderers of late – but he is drawing encouragement from a new strike partnership trialled against Wigan Athletic.

After pairing Sammy Ameobi with Christian Doidge against the Latics, the Bolton boss feels they could be worth another look, potentially this weekend at Norwich City.

Ameobi is not yet at full match fitness, having missed nine consecutive games up to mid-November with ankle ligament damage. But after going over footage of some of the games he played as a number 10 in the last couple of seasons, Parkinson is keen to give him another opportunity.

“Sammy watched the games that he’s played in that position for us and I think that partnership could work,” he told The Bolton News.

“Sammy can twist and turn, can slide passes through to Christian Doidge, can pop up on either wing and get crosses in.

“Physically, Sammy is finding it tough at the moment since his injury, he hasn’t quite got far enough in to be completely right. But he still has moments of quality in games.

“Doidgey likes to be right at the top of the pitch as a number nine, with a 10 behind him and Sammy’s extra physicality in that role certainly helps.

“There was promise between the two of them, certainly.”

Doidge was starting only his third game since signing from Forest Green Rovers and caught his manager’s eye with a hard-working display.

“I thought Christian led the line terrifically well for us,” he said. “I’m frustrated for him when Bucko (Will Buckley) broke through that he hasn’t been able to slide the ball across the face of goal. But his all-round commitment, his running for the team and the one he cleared off the line towards the end of the game from the corner gives me great heart.

“He has had to be patient, he has had to work hard after his move, but I think that shows he is getting up to speed at this level of football.”

Wanderers go to Carrow Road as rank outsiders against Norwich side that has won 12 of its last 16 games.

Daniel Farke’s men were not one of the bookies’ favourites for promotion at the start of the season, having finished a disappointing 14th last term. But thanks to the goals of Finn Teemu Pukki, they lead Leeds United by a point at the top of the table and look good for a promotion tilt in the New Year.

Wanderers showed heart against Wigan, given the events off-the-field, but Parkinson is well aware they will need more to get a result on Saturday.

“I think we’ve got to take a deep breath and go again,” the manager said. “We went there last season and got a draw. They have just beaten Rotherham and are going well but we’ll set ourselves up to try and get the points.

“From our perspective it’s not just commitment we want, but some quality too. It isn’t just about running around, we know that.

“It’s about producing more moments like the one Will Buckley did for the goal against Wigan. Those little bits of something special.

“Looking at Sammy playing behind Doidge I think it looked good. It looked as though it might work.”

Norwich have made rather a habit of leaving it late this season, with just seven of their 35 Championship goals scored in the first half, three of which were in the same game at Swansea.

They have, however, scored an incredible 17 goals in the last 20 minutes – and midfielder Mario Vrancic says their conditioning has been a big factor.

“It would be easier if we weren’t struggling with those goals and setbacks – but at the end, it’s important you get the result and it doesn’t matter how; no one asks,” he said.

“We are very fit, especially in those last 15-20 minutes we have scored so many goals and I think we can carry on like that.”

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rammywhite

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Frank Worthington
Frank Worthington
So Sammy can twist and turn and get passes through to Doidge who can get crosses in from either wing.
To whom? We could do with someone in the middle who can strike. I thought that was Doidge's job!
Parky sounds like Teresa May- trying to convince us that the impossible is possible

Norpig

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Its hardly a partnership when we only play one upfront is it?

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