“Superb” Robins are punching above their weight, admits boss Parkinson

Altrincham FC vs Wealdstone FC
National League Fixture
Date: 26th January 2021
Venue: J Davidson Stadium, Moss Lane
Attendance: N/A
Final Score: 2-0
Scorers: Josh Hancock, Alistair Smith
Copyright Michael Ripley Photography
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Altrincham’s 2-0 win against Wealdstone on Tuesday night extended their impressive run of form to only one defeat in nine league games. 

“I thought it was a really dominant performance,” said Parkinson. “And credit to them [Wealdstone], their management team have got them playing some good football, so I knew we had to be right at it.”

Tuesday’s victory highlighted the potential of the Altrincham side, who gave their most assertive performance of the season.

“[In the] last three games I think we’ve really shown what we’re capable of,” said Parkinson. “I feel like we’ve adapted to this level, and I can see us going from strength to strength.”

Josh Hancock scores Alty’s first against Wealdstone

Parkinson was especially pleased with Dan Mooney, who stood out in a five-star display for Altrincham. “He was outstanding tonight. And I’ve just said to him that if he drops below that level of performance again, I’ll be after him as that’s what I expect of him.”

Compared to Wealdstone, Torquay – who the Robins visit in their next league encounter on Tuesday night – will be a very different test. The Seagulls remain top of the league – where they have spent the majority of the season – and are a professional outfit with a large budget. 

“They’re a massive club at this level, who are also full-time,” said Parkinson. “Nine times out of 10, when we take the field, we’re playing lads that are training every day.”

Substitute Ryan Colclough fires in a cross against Wealdstone

If the Robins are to continue their fine run of form, and compete against the very best teams, then squad depth will be crucial. Parkinson is addressing this issue by remaining active in the transfer market, while keeping a close eye on his own players that are on the cusp of recovering from injury.

“The good news is that Sean Williams is coming back soon, who will give us that extra strength in depth, and we’ve got a new forward coming in either this week or next,” said Parkinson.

Another hurdle to contend with is that while the National League is continuing for the moment, there is a possibility the league will be adjourned in the coming weeks ahead.

Between January and March, low-interest loans will replace the current grants that are offered to National League teams for financial support. But even though clubs are unhappy about this change, Parkinson sees no appetite among clubs to suspend, or worse, void the season because of the new financial structure. 

Dan Mooney impressed boss Phil Parkinson on Tuesday

“Because it’s a full-time environment, bar ourselves and three others, everybody wants to seem to move forward with it,” said Parkinson.

Nevertheless, whatever comes of the impending decision, Parkinson’s side sit in fourth place, having hit the 30-point mark after a mere 20 games – a remarkable achievement, which only the most optimistic supporters could have conceived at the start of the season. 

“We are absolutely punching above our weight. The lads are doing absolutely superb, and I’m ever so proud of them,” said Parkinson. 

But if they are to hold this extraordinary league position, then tonight is the real litmus test of whether the Robins can turn it up a gear.

Photos: Mike Ripley

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