Phil Parkinson was delighted with our fourth win on the bounce and another clean sheet against Bristol Rovers. He was also pleased to hear the fans sing his name during the 30-0 victory. “It was great,” said Parkinson. “The supporters have been tremendous and I said to the lads before the game that it’s important that the intensity of our play is right, the closing down is right, the work ethic is there, because those elements are what have got the supporters right behind you and made this an enjoyable place for you to play. We have to keep it that way by making sure those qualities stay in place. The fans want to see honesty, but they also want to see quality, and they are getting that. It was a low ebb back then [on Boxing Day] but we are enjoying this run and the important thing now is that we sustain it. Everyone else around us is also winning, and you expect that of the top teams, but we have to make sure that our run lasts longer than everybody else’s.”
Parkinson added: “In recent weeks the supporters have been very patient at times like today when it took time to get the goal, but they have stayed right with us because they can see what we are trying to achieve. Football is about having cool heads and focusing on the process of ‘how are we going to win this game of football’ - you don’t want to become frantic and start having shots from 40 yards or try to dribble through the whole team on your own because you are not going to win like that. We have to concentrate on the patterns of play we have been working on and getting into the areas where we knew we could hurt Bristol.”
Parkinson also discussed the arrival of Tommy Smith and the flawless display of Alim Ozturk in Bristol Rovers win. He said: “When Lynchy got injured at Portsmouth, I’d spoken then to Tommy’s agent, but then we realised that Lynch wasn’t too bad. Then with the news with Bailey, we got him up on the Thursday, had a chat and looked at him physically, he looked in great shape. Everything I had heard about him – his character - was backed up with our chats with him. It is good to have another player in the building, we don’t want to leave ourselves short. He has had an U23 game at another club recently and has been training, he isn’t too far away. It was important to bring one in, I felt, the owner understands and he is singing from the same hymn sheet to make sure we are strong and have cover in all departments. But Alim was flawless (against Bristol Rover), he was great, did the right things at the right time. The right decisions and he typified the performance.”
RATINGS VS BRISTOL ROVERS
BY DANIEL MCCALLUM
Jon McLaughlin: (6/10): Didn’t have any saves to make.
Luke O’Nien: (7/10): Got up and down the line well. Put a good ball in for the opener and it was his deflected shot that went in for the third.
Jordan Willis: (7/10): Wasn’t really tested against a non-existent Rovers attack but stayed switched on throughout.
Alim Ozturk: (6/10): Decent on the ball, keeping things simple.
Tom Flanagan: (7/10): Did well in bringing the ball out from the back. Looks full of confidence now compared to his shaky spell at the end of last season.
Denver Hume: (6/10); Got in some great positions but his crossing left a lot to be desired.
Max Power: (7/10): Struggled to put his stamp on the match initially, but became more vocal and grew into it.
George Dobson: (8/10): Always kept the ball moving and offered plenty of energy in the middle. Surely becoming a great player after a slow start on Wearside.
Chris Maguire: (8/10): Caused the defence problems, created goals and worked hard for the team.
Lynden Gooch: (6/ 10): Got frustrated early on with the poor referee and earned himself an early yellow. Nothing really came off for the American but Gooch managed to net the opener and open the floodgates.
Charlie Wyke: (7/10): Showed great pace and feet by rounding the goalkeeper and slotting into an empty net for the second. Other than that, he was a nuisance at least and linked play well. Heavily involved in Gooch’s goal too.
Antoine Semenyo: (6/10): Played deeper and didn’t create much in minimal minutes.
Kyle Lafferty: (6/10): Put himself about and made the defence think.
Duncan Watmore: (6/10): Drew fouls from the Rovers defence, even if he didn’t have too much time to impress.