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Phil Parkinson praises Wrexham character following comeback win at Colchester

06 Apr 2024 3 minute read
Wrexham Manager Phil Parkinson during the Sky Bet League Two match at JobServe Community Stadium, Colchester. Credit: Rhianna Chadwick/PA Wire.

Phil Parkinson praised the character of his Wrexham side after they came from behind to claim a 2-1 League Two comeback win at relegation-threatened Colchester.

Goals from Paul Mullin and Max Cleworth secured the promotion-chasing Reds victory, after John Akinde had fired the hosts ahead following half-time.

Wrexham boss Parkinson said: “It’s all about character today.

“We’ve gone a goal down and we’ve responded brilliantly.

“Colchester drew at Mansfield, they drew last week (at Tranmere) and beat Newport here – their results are a lot better than their league position suggests.

“Once again, we’ve had to dig deep and show that Wrexham resilience, which we’re renowned for.

“Barney (Ryan Barnett) has produced a bit of magic with a fantastic pinpoint cross for Mulls (Paul Mullin).

“A 100th goal for him is a great achievement and I’m so pleased for Max (Cleworth).

“I’ve just said to the lads in there, at this stage of the season it’s about producing moments of inspiration and somebody stepping up to the plate and Max has done that today and there were 2,000 Wrexham fans singing his name.

“That’s what it’s all about – it’s about ‘can I be the man that produces that moment’ and Max did that.”

Wrexham’s Paul Mullin (left) talks with Wrexham Manager Phil Parkinson ahead of the Sky Bet League Two match at JobServe Community Stadium, Colchester. Credit: Rhianna Chadwick/PA Wire

Colchester impressed in a goalless first half, with Akinde and Connor Hall both going close.

They then took a 54th-minute lead through Akinde, who clinically fired a low shot past Arthur Okonkwo from just inside the area after Cameron McGeehan had done well to set him up.

But their lead lasted just eight minutes as Mullin headed home Ryan Barnett’s cross unmarked from close range to equalise for his 100th goal for Wrexham.

And Cleworth then nodded in Wrexham’s 85th-minute winner – after Colchester had failed to deal with George Evans’ throw into their box – to seal the visitors’ comeback victory.

Colchester boss Danny Cowley said: “Playing football for 60 minutes is not enough.

“If you want to win, you have to play for 90 minutes or however long they want to add on these days.

“We were 1-0 up in front of a full house and the atmosphere was bouncing and you just need to step up and keep playing.

“We didn’t do that and do you know what – at half-time, they were fighting between themselves in our tunnel, because we stood up to them.

“We really competed with them and they had no answer and they’re a good team with really good players.

“But they win two ways – they win through bullying you or they win through individual brilliance.

“They didn’t play well but it’s the sign of a good team when they didn’t play well but they win.

“We needed leadership and personality and we didn’t show enough of it and I’m really angry this evening.”

Watch: Wrexham secure a massive away victory at Colchester

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