Having booked a place in next season’s Championship with Sunday’s memorable 3-2 win against Nottingham Forest, Parkinson has been able to reflect on the highs and lows of the last nine months.
The manager’s position came under intense scrutiny during a miserable start to the campaign – during which Bolton took just two points from 11 games. It was a similar story after the March international break when a run of six defeats in seven took the club on the very edge of relegation. Even now, with Wanderers’ place in the division secured, speculation around Parkinson’s job has continued in light of a possible change in ownership.
“The trials and tribulations, it has been tough,” said the Bolton boss, who has reiterated his desire to stay and build his squad next season. “You have to be resilient, you have to be thick-skinned as a manager because you are going to get criticism.
“But I want to thank the people who have been right behind me. Right from the chairman, all the way through the club. Every single person who works at the Macron or at the training ground, I want to thank every single one of them because they have stood strong and played their part.
“It’ll take time for what we have done to sink in, but I’m looking forward to the process.
“The great thing for me, Steve and the staff was that all our families were there, they’ve supported us home and away. They were right behind us and it’s great to have that strength in numbers behind you.”
Sunday’s ‘Macron Miracle’ is likely to go down as one of the most famous and dramatic afternoons in Wanderers’ history, and Parkinson hopes it also attracts a new wave of younger fans to the club.
“I heard a Bolton fan on the radio who had been to the game with his son – it was his first season being a Bolton Wanderers fan. He said you have to remember days like that because it’s what football is all about.”