PHIL Parkinson has called for Wanderers to start 2019 as they mean to go on – and carve out a result at Hull City today.

The Bolton boss set his players a pre-Christmas target to escape the bottom three by the time they meet Walsall in the FA Cup third round this weekend.

And after watching his side earn four points from their last two games, Parkinson wants another concerted effort against his former employers.

“Our aim is to be out of that bottom three by the time we run out here against Walsall next Saturday,” said Parkinson, who took charge of Hull for a brief spell in 2006. “We have had two games where we have gone some way to accomplishing that, so now we have got to back that up at Hull City.

“I want to be able to enjoy that cup game, be out of the bottom three, and look back at the Christmas period as a successful one.

“We’re two-thirds of the way there. Football is about mini targets along the way and we’ll go to Hull who had a great win at Leeds, but we’ll be full of confidence.”

Wanderers kept their first clean sheet since mid-September when they were held 0-0 by Stoke City on Saturday and, recalling the 4-0 hammering his side were given last season in their previous visit to Humberside, Parkinson wants the same level of defensive concentration.

“Getting that clean sheet was important for us, because it has been a while,” he said.

“When we came under pressure, we responded. Benik Afobe is a £10million player and we knew he would be a threat, but we restricted him to practically nothing because the two centre-back’s communication was spot on, and it has to be again.

“We’ve said all along that no-one was going to come and hand us points on a silver platter. We had to work hard for them. And I think people can see that we have worked very, very hard.

“We do that again at Hull, stay clear of the bottom three, and we can come back home at the weekend and really enjoy the cup game against Walsall.”