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Phil Parkinson delighted with James McClean impact as Wrexham go second

13 Jan 2024 3 minute read
Wrexham manager Phil Parkinson . Barrington Coombs/PA Wire.

Phil Parkinson praised James McClean’s infectious desire to win as he set up both second-half goals in Wrexham’s 2-0 victory over AFC Wimbledon.

The former Republic of Ireland international delivered a corner for Steven Fletcher to net the opener before putting in a dangerous cross which Paul Mullin met as the Dragons moved up to second in League Two.

And Parkinson praised the summer signing’s impact around the squad as the Dragons responded after a below-par first half to get the vital opener which set them up for victory.

Parkinson said: “He’s a very good player, I think his career tells everything you need to know, but the biggest thing with James is his mentality and his desire to win and be at his best every week and that can be infectious around the group.

“I thought we lacked urgency first half, it was almost a feeling of this will just take care of itself, when everybody knows in football you’ve got to make it happen as a team.

“Second half I thought we responded really well. Sometimes when you’re not at your fluid best, a set play changes the dynamic of the game and it’s an outstanding delivery from James and Fletch has finished it brilliantly.

“I had a chat at half-time that we needed to up our game in certain areas and when we did that, I thought we looked like the team that was going to go and win the game.”

Dons boss Johnnie Jackson felt his side paid the price for switching off in two key moments and for not taking the chances they carved out.

He said: “That little period there has cost us the game, it’s really frustrating because I think it was a really good performance from the team.

“We dominated the first half completely (and) the majority of the second half.

“They’ve had their moments and got the goals in that period and we switched off for the two goals.

“One’s a set play, one we don’t deal with a cross into our box which we knew would be their threats, so it’s frustrating, but we’ve had enough chances at the other end to arguably win and certainly not lose.

“Both boxes have been the difference. I think from box to box we was by far the better team, but it reads 2-0 to them so it’s a frustrating day.

“We have to take those opportunities, we spoke about it all this week in preparation that we don’t necessarily get loads of those chances here and you’re going to have to suffer at times and be under the cosh, but I don’t think we was really.”

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