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Will Buckley calls for Bolton to stick with Phil Parkinson

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Will Buckley insists the Wanderers squad remains fully behind Phil Parkinson as they head into a potentially-pivotal home clash with Hull City.

Ken Anderson’s warning of potentially drastic action to correct the club’s recent form passed quickly among the squad on Thursday and Friday – with players left in little doubt over the possible ramifications of defeat this afternoon.

Parkinson has been in charge for two-and-a-half years, has led Wanderers to promotion from League One in a transfer embargo and to survival in the Championship last season without spending a penny on transfer fees. Yet a run of one victory in 10, and an increasing backlash against the manager’s style of football has placed intense pressure on his position.

Buckley – who could return to the side after a hamstring injury – spoke up for a dressing room which remains firmly behind Parkinson.

“He has stuck with us players in good times and bad times, so we need to stick with him now,” he told The Bolton News.

“We were all delighted with the start we made, so we can’t get too down about results recently. We have just got to try and change it as soon as we can.

“As a squad we stick together, that’s what we do. We know there will be times when things go bad and there will be a bit of pressure on us. Every team gets that.

“We know we need to get back to winning ways.”

Wanderers had made their best start to a Championship season since the turn of the millennium but have found the absence of the injured Sammy Ameobi difficult to handle.

They have also taken just five points from a possible 24 since a brush with administration, triggered by a dispute with finance company BluMarble in September.

“It shows how quickly it can change,” Buckley said. “One minute we’re beating West Brom away from home, now they are joint top. You can beat anyone in this league but you can also get beat by anyone. It’s hard to predict.

“Fine margins decide games and they have been going against us in recent weeks.

“But it will only change if we stick together and keep working hard.”

Buckley is hoping to quickly rediscover the kind of form which helped topple Derby County at the University of Bolton Stadium after suffering another frustrating short-term spell on the side-lines.

The energetic winger has been an automatic choice when fully fit for Parkinson but has suffered a series of niggling injuries which mean his longest stretch in the side has been limited to five consecutive games since arriving in the summer of 2017.

It was a familiar tale before the international break when he failed to appear for the second half of the 1-0 defeat to Blackburn Rovers.

“It was just before half time and I felt my hamstring tweak,” Buckley said. “Luckily it was only a grade one, so two weeks, and I have been back in training this week.

“It was a bit of a nightmare. I felt like I was playing well and it has only been a fortnight out so my fitness is still there. I can get straight back to where I was.”

Fit again, Buckley feels a weight of responsibility to make a difference for Wanderers in a game which could put some clear daylight between them and the relegation battle, along with doing Parkinson a very handy favour.

“Every game I want to impress – manager, fans, myself – I want to prove to everyone I am a good player. I want to get back in there and be a help to the team,” Buckley said.

“It was a disappointing result against Forest but they are a good side. I think they’ll be up there.

“It has made Saturday into an even bigger one but I think we need to shrug off the Forest result and go into the Hull City game full force.”


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