Phil Parkinson praises Wrexham for overcoming tough conditions to beat Newport
Phil Parkinson praised Wrexham for doing all the basics well in a scrappy game to set the foundation for their 2-0 League Two Welsh derby victory over Newport.
In a first meeting for five years, second-half goals from James Jones and Elliot Lee – both from long Ben Tozer throw-ins – secured victory as the Dragons maintained their automatic promotion chase.
The clash was played in windy conditions at the Racecourse Ground which made it difficult at times for both teams, but Parkinson felt the Dragons doing the fundamentals in football helped tee up their triumph.
He said: “It was a game played in very difficult conditions, swirling wind, but we’ve been training in those conditions this week so we’re kind of used to it.
“When it’s like that, the game’s always going to have a scrappy feel to it and it was important we were ready to scrap first and second balls all over the pitch.
“I felt we did that very well and the moments of quality in terms of football, we knew they might be not as often as what it is in normal conditions, but we still played some good football and we switched the play and got in some dangerous positions, so all in all I thought the lads have stuck to the job at hand and got another very important three points for us.
“We just kept saying to the lads at half-time ‘we’ve just got to keep grinding away today’.
“It was just one of those types of games. We’ve had them before and it’s about being ready to get your bodies in, to protect the ball upfront, to win those headers in midfield, to make sure the communication’s right when the ball comes from the keeper to our backline – and I thought they did that terrifically well.
“All those very basic things in football had to be in place for us to get us a win.”
Newport boss Graham Coughlan was left a frustrated figure after his side conceded from two set-pieces and failed to take their opportunities, but did not use the conditions as an excuse for defeat.
He said: “We had opportunities and chances. The first goal was always going to be big in this fixture and we had two or three chances in the first half to take them and we didn’t, so you leave yourself open.
“Yes, the conditions were there but they were the same for both teams, so by no means will we use that as an excuse.
“We had one or two sloppy moments and that’s probably what cost us, but we’ve seen them moments so many times this season and that’s what’s hurting us because we were in the game.
“Both teams tried to make a decent fist of the conditions and it was tough on both teams and both sets of players, but it’s disappointing when it comes down to two set-pieces and two long throws. That’s bitterly disappointing.
“If you don’t take those chances, then you’re going to leave yourself vulnerable.
“We didn’t take them, so we were always vulnerable and they were always going to put a bit of pressure on us, they were always going to be a different team in the second half.
“The game certainly changed at half-time, but they’ve taken their chances with two set pieces, which is probably sticking in my throat at this moment in time.
“I’d love to be honest and tell you what I’m really feeling but you can’t concede from two set-pieces from long throws. That should be bread and butter to people in our team.”
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