PP Pre Gills

Parkinson is set to give youth it’s chance at Gillingham in the FA Cup tonight. Here's his pre-match media briefing.

Is this one to look forward to?

Obviously, we had hoped to get the tie done and dusted in the first game. We had a couple of chances to see Gillingham off but conceded a very poor goal and subsequently we're down there tonight. It's a game we're looking to win to get us into round two.

Would you almost rather to have the time on the training ground?

Yeah, definitely. We've got a few players with ongoing problems which we've had to resolve this last week, and quite a few of those are not going to make the Gillingham game. (Joel) Lynchy for instance has had an injection in his back, Jordan Wiillis has had an injection in his knee - they won't make it - and George Dobson is going to be rested with an ongoing problem and there's one of two others, so the youngsters are going to get the opportunity to be on the trip. That's great for them - we're taking seven or eight of the Under-23s down with us. Obviously defensively we're short of bodies so the likes of Brandon Taylor and Jack Bainbridge are included, and I'm looking forward to seeing them tomorrow - the ones that play and the ones who might get on from the bench.

How do you feel it's gone so far - have you got your feet under the table?

Yes, that's a good way of putting it. It was a great start with the home league win but it's been disjointed with the cup games and the amount of games we've had. Now we're looking forward to getting as many players back out on the training pitch and really getting stuck into the run of league games after the FA Cup.

How do you cope with the expectation levels?

It's not different to any other club I've been at whether as a player of a manager - it's just that the volume of support is that much greater up here. Every club I've been at - even when I was at Colchester, the gates were only 3000, but when we won the place was lifted and when we lost the world was coming to an end, so it's the same but on a bigger scale. The expectancy is greater because of the size of the club.

Is Gillingham a game you've just got to win?

I think it any game you've just got to go out to win it and we'll certainly be doing that. We'll set the team up so we've got more threat in attacking areas, that's key. Going back to the last game we had, we only had one fit senior striker, it's difficult to carry that threat. We need pace and power at the top of the pitch to give us a chance to win games and we're working towards that. Charlie Wyke's been running this week, he's looking better all the time, it's just we don't want to rush him back and then lose him long-term. But in terms of the work he's been able to do on the training ground he looks in good shape physically, so once the ankle is absolutely 100 per cent it won't be long before he's involved.

Any news on John Potter going to Hibs?

There has been contact between the two clubs. I get on really well with John and we're having further talks about that. The possibility is that the lure of going back home to Scotland will be one that John will take and if he does we'll wish him all the best.

How has the run of games impacted on the squad?

When you have a lot of games like we've had, there are areas with players and injuries - I used Jordan (Willis) as an example because he had some tendonitis where we had to pull him out of the firing line. Sometimes you just keep playing players and those injuries can end up being costly. So there are a few decisions which need to made in this period to make sure we're strong going into this next group of league games.

Who'll play in goal?

Jon (McLaughlin) is away with Scotland, so (Lee) Burge plays.

After Scunthorpe, did some things need to be said?

We're disappointed to lose any game, but to lose in the manner we did, the sending-off, the two late goals, made it a terrible night. But we've had a good sit-down with the lads this week, had some time to train over the weekend as well, which has been good, had a good meeting with them over what we're expecting going into this next run of games.