PHIL Parkinson refused to be too downbeat after seeing his side beaten 2-0 at Middlesbrough.

Gary O’Neil’s mistake allowed George Saville to open the scoring 10 minutes before the break and Britt Assombalonga doubled the lead in injury time to put Boro second in the Championship table.

But Parkinson saw enough in his side’s second-half performance to suggest they can arrest the current slide at Ipswich Town on Saturday.

Bolton played five at the back at the Riverside in an effort to contain their hosts and gave up plenty of possession in the first 45 minutes.

“We changed the shape tonight and it took a while to get used to it because we’d only been working on it for a couple of days,” Parkinson explained.

“We looked at Middlesbrough and thought it was the best way to play against them, with the physicality of the set plays and throws, we wanted another centre-half in there.

“We restricted them to very few chances considering they had all the possession. And the goal was almost comical from our point of view.

“I thought in the second half we were excellent. Chances were always going to be few and far between against a side the calibre of Middlesbrough, especially with Tony’s record of keeping things tight but we had those moments, we just didn’t take them.

“I’m not too worried about the second goal, in fact I think it gave an unfair reflection on the scoreline.”

Wanderers improved after the break and carved out decent opportunities for Jonathan Grounds and Josh Vela to salvage a point in Parkinson’s 100th game in charge.

“We came here tonight against a side who has spent probably more than anyone in the league but we believed in ourselves a bit more in the second half,” he said.

“When we did, we looked a good side and looked like we could cause them problems.”

Jack Hobbs, making his first league start for Bolton, was taken off in the first half with a serious cut above his eye after a clash of heads with Boro striker Jordan Hugill.