WANDERERS can upset the odds at Aston Villa today IF they can handle the stress levels, says Phil Parkinson.

Few give the Whites a chance as they head to the Midlands, bottom of the table with no wins from their opening 10 games, and no goals during the whole of September thus far.

By comparison, Steve Bruce’s side have found some form and are unbeaten in seven. But as the pressure grows on Parkinson to turn things around, he believes a result is possible at Villa Park if his players can keep their heads.

“People keep telling me we’re desperate – but we can’t afford to be desperate,” he told The Bolton News. “It would be great to go into the international break with a result but we need to be calm. We won’t get anywhere by rushing around and losing our composure.

“We need to play with assurance and I think we did that more at Bristol the other night.

“I think one or two individuals are trying too hard and that’s affected their decision-making process, so we need to be relaxed.”

Wanderers will bring Reece Burke, Josh Cullen and Adam Armstrong back into the squad but Aaron Wilbraham is struggling to overcome a muscular injury and may have to sit out.

Plenty have already written off the Whites’ campaign, still less than a quarter of a season old, but Parkinson feels improvement is on its way and has urged fans to stick behind the team.

“I am not thinking ‘oh my goodness, what am I going to do?’ I do feel the squad is getting stronger, coming out of the embargo and being able to add another player was key. Being in the market if someone else becomes available is good too,” he said.

“We have a team capable of winning but we have to prove it. We need that first win and the longer it goes, the more frustrating it becomes.”

One of the big plusses for Parkinson has been the instant impact made by new signing Karl Henry on the training ground.

The former QPR and Wolves midfielder made his debut at Bristol City in midweek and has already started to use his experience in the build-up to the Villa clash.

“I’m delighted with him – he did great on Tuesday and since then what he’s contributed with his know-how, knowledge and nous will be a big plus going forward,” the manager said.

“He can play in a two or a three in midfield, so it’s a great addition to the squad.”