Phil Parkinson hails Bolton's dramatic escape from relegation
Last Updated: 06/05/18 4:32pm
Phil Parkinson hailed a "dream" finish to the Championship season after his Bolton side came from 2-1 down to beat the drop with a dramatic late 3-2 win over Nottingham Forest.
Wanderers began the afternoon in the bottom three and were still there until Aaron Wilbraham struck an 88th-minute winner after David Wheater's 87th-minute equaliser.
"It was just a dream," said manager Parkinson. "Last season we got promoted but this was more tense. There was no fall-back this time. Last year we had the fall-back of the play-offs. We knew if we lost we were down.
"It has been tough, but when it really mattered most we produced a performance to keep us in the division. This does feel better because of the magnitude of what we have been up against.
"When you are losing and down at the bottom all the time and fighting for your lives it has been tough to keep the morale high on the training ground. This is right up there with my best achievements.
"In normal years people spend a lot of money in the Championship, but this year it went crazy."
Adam Le Fondre's 67th-minute goal put Wanderers in front before Ben Osborn and Jack Colbeck hit back with two goals in nine minutes.
And Bolton looked destined for a quick return to League One until defender Wheater and then Wilbraham completed the turnaround. Amid all the drama at the death, Parkinson revealed he still needed convincing Wanderers had secured their status.
"After the game I embraced (assistant) Steve Parkin and he said, 'We have done it'. I said, 'Are you sure?' Sometimes you can celebrate when it is not really done.
"So I went back down the tunnel and put the TV on and could see Barnsley and Burton had fallen through the trapdoor."
On Wilbraham's winner, he added: "Cometh the hour, cometh the man. I am really pleased for him."
Parkinson urged Bolton to use survival as a springboard for the future.
"We have got to use this to build the club forward again," he said. "The squad needs investment, everyone realises that.
"So it is a fantastic platform to go forward. Now we have got to have a summer where we build the club and get a better quality right way through the team."
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