GUILE meets graft at the University of Bolton Stadium today, and Phil Parkinson is confident his side can muscle their way to to some reward.

Preston, so impressive in beating Wanderers last weekend, toppled today’s opponents Norwich on Wednesday to knock the Canaries off their perch at the Championship summit.

And Parkinson, an interested observer in midweek, took heart from their Lancashire neighbours’ 3-1 victory, insisting his team can overpower their guests.

“Preston showed Norwich are vulnerable,” said Parkinson.

“They started very quickly and caught Norwich a bit cold, we know Preston are good at doing that, and Norwich responded really well and the second half was really all them.

“Preston kind of got a goal out of nothing when [Alan] Browne hit the bar and Sean Maguire stuck the rebound in.

“But obviously Preston got on top of them and made it very difficult and that’s what we’ve got to do.

“We’ve got to be aggressive as a team, we’ve got to be physical, we’ve got to restrict the space for the opposition to play.

“We know Norwich are a possession-based team and we’ve got to make sure the pitch doesn’t become too open.

“If you go back to the last home game there was too much space for Preston, we made the pitch too big out of possession.

“But we went down to St Andrew’s and we got back to being a compact team first of all and played our football on the back of that. Callum Connolly typified that with his goal, he did a great job for the team and added that touch of real desire to help us get the win.

“He’s relishing playing, in the first couple of games he did well but he hadn’t played for a while so he’s needed the games but he’s getting stronger all the time, we’re pleased with him.”

There was good news this week for Parkinson, with Mark Beevers coming through his St Andrew’s return unscathed.

With no reaction from Beevers’ troublesome Achilles he can renew his partnership with David Wheater, the mainstay which has provided the backbone of the team throughout Parkinson’s tenure at Bolton.

Marc Wilson, Jack Hobbs and Andy Taylor remain sidelined through injury, meaning his ‘twin towers’ will be invaluable as they embark upon back-to-back tall orders, against top two Norwich and Leeds United.

Further forward, the Whites boss may be able to once again call on Joe Williams, with Gary O’Neil ruled out of contention in midfield.

“Gary has got a couple of problems, he’s out,” Parkinson told The Bolton News.

“Marc Wilson’s is more of a problem with his back than his hamstring but he’ll be out and it leaves us short defensively, with Hobbsy and Andy Taylor out, so we’ll have to change things round.

“But if you look at the other night we had people playing out of position towards the end of the game, and there were no excuses, they just got on with the job for the good of the team and that’s what we’ll have to do again.

“We’ve got Joe Williams back in there in the picture for the weekend, we’ve got to decide if he needs another week’s training or we start him or put him on the bench so we’ll think about that one overnight.

“Wheater and Beevers have been stalwarts for us over the last couple of years, they have got a good understanding, they enjoy defending and both of them were very good the other night.

“Beevers has come through unscathed which is good because we were concerned about his Achilles, but he’s all right.

“They’ve both done well for us over the last two-and-a-half years.

“We’ve played a three and a two at the back, even in the promotion season we had a four up until January when we lost Cloughy and Sammy then we flipped it to a three, so it’s difficult to say which suits them best because they’ve played both systems and both know their roles.”