PHIL Parkinson conceded that Wanderers “lacked quality” when it counted as they slipped to a narrow defeat against Leeds United.

Patrick Bamford’s goal enabled Marcelo Bielsa’s side to move to the top of the Championship table, for at least a couple of hours, ahead of Norwich City.

Flowing football was thin on the ground in a messy game, complicated by the icy winds and rain around the University of Bolton Stadium.

Wanderers worked hard to stay on level terms for two thirds of the game but were unlocked by a swift counter attack which, says Parkinson, summed up the gulf in class between the two sides.

“I thought it was a very tight game, nothing in it, in really difficult conditions. The lads have given everything and we’ve been done by a moment of quality from a £7million player,” he said after the final whistle.

“We closed down, we ran, we chased. We lacked quality at times when we had possession, in difficult conditions, and we just needed a bit of respite and by getting the first pass off.

“We should have had a penalty, again. Nooney (Craig Noone) nicked it on the blindside of the lad (Kalvin Phillips) and I don’t think he saw him coming.

“The lads are giving absolutely everything, the supporters can see that, it’s just that bit of quality which has unlocked us today.

“We’ve broke before their goal on the right-hand side and it’s a great pass by Nooney and Will’s in a good position but the ball got taken off him. Next thing we know the ball is in the back of our net. That little incisive pass is sometimes the difference.”

Wanderers have won just once since August 22, failing to score in 11 out of 18 games.

They have shown some fighting spirit in difficult circumstances of late, as financial matters off the field once again garnered the lion’s share of headlines.

But as they go into games against Brentford and Rotherham United over the festive break – both sides in the bottom six – Parkinson admits his side have got to start putting some goals in the back of the net.

“After drawing against Wigan, the next games, Norwich and Leeds, were always going to be difficult. But we have done everything we can, the work on the training ground and the preparation for those games. And a lot of the stuff we have done we implemented well in those games.

“We have taken two teams right at the top of the league very, very close. But like I have said before those close games where we’ve said we’ve applied ourselves have got to be turned into points.”