PHIL PARKINSON PRE-GILLINGHAM PRESSER


Phil Parkinson met the press ahead of the Gillingham game. Here’s the craic…


Parkinson on how tight it is at the top of the league…

“It’s really tight and there are some good sides. But we’re one of them, and we’re on as good a run as anybody. Obviously, the last game is a disappointment. But we’ve got to pick up where we left off in the last couple of home games where the performances have been terrific. Hopefully we’ll get the points and it will get us right back in the mix. You do lose games in football and it’s about moving on and this is a really important week for us- the aim is for after the Blackpool game next weekend to be right in contention for the top two before we have a break.”


PP on how the players have been in training this week

He said: "I think the test sometimes is during the week in training because it gives you an indication of where the lads are physically and mentally. They look in a good place particularly today, all the training was excellent - obviously it was a beautiful day, so that always helps. But the lads are focused; there on it. We know we’ve got to do; we know what we’ve got to deal with at the weekend, and it’s up to us to come out on top.”


Parkinson on not setting a points target…

"We’ve not really set a points goal as it’s difficult to predict with so many teams on an amazing run. Some teams have stuttered – Rotherham at home to MK Dons last week, for example. If teams stutter, then it’s important we make the most of the chance. We have to get back to making sure we improve on last week and we have to get better."


Phil Parkinson on conceding early goals against Fleetwood Town and Coventry City

"We're disappointed at conceding two early goals but I don't want to make us too frantic about it. We know teams are going to come at us, we're Sunderland and it's a big game for them, so we have to be prepared for that and we have to be up for that, but we also have to make the right decisions. We probably haven't quite got that balance right in the first 10 minutes or so of the last two games, even though after that initial spell we have then gone on to control most of those games. It was similar when we played Ipswich at the Stadium of Light - they came at us full on right from the start, so we have to expect that. We have to make sure that we are up for the physical challenge, but not at the expense of our decision-making. We'll look to start on the front foot ourselves. That's always my message to the players, home or away, because you don't look to invite pressure. It's possible that Coventry might have looked at the Fleetwood game. I think a couple of our decisions weren't quite right in terms of our selection of pass, and that was what resulted in the goal."


More on the Coventry game…

He said: "It was always going to be a tight game at Coventry given how the teams set up and their form, and defining moments separate tight games - whether it is a striker taking a chance, a great save, a great block, or whatever. Coventry had that moment and scored, we had chances to get our moment and we didn't take them. There wasn't a lot in it, probably we shaded it, our goal that was disallowed was the right decision, but we probably didn't create enough chances. Credit has to go to Coventry because they are a good side and they are very well drilled, but equally we have to look at ourselves because we have to threaten the goal more than we did."


On the injury front we pretty much have a clean bill of health…

“Everybody is fine and Elliot Embleton is back involved in training. We’re just hoping we can get him through another week’s training and then he will be in close contention. He has had a few false dawns when he has come back in and not felt quite right, but this is looking a lot more positive now.”


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