WHETHER you think his has been a mission impossible or is now a position untenable – Phil Parkinson made it to 1,000 days in charge of Bolton Wanderers.

The milestone passed by yesterday as he heard from the Football Association that his 105th and 106th league game at the club would have to be viewed from the directors’ box, rather than from the touchline.

Parkinson has been handed a two-match suspension after being found guilty of misconduct during the 2-1 defeat against Leeds United on February 23.

The charge relates to a touchline fracas at Elland Road which involved players and coaching staff from both clubs – and though fines were dished out to both Bolton and Leeds for failing to control their players, the Bolton boss may view himself rather unlucky to be the only individual picked out.

A statement from the FA read: “Leeds United and Bolton Wanderers have been fined £5,000 and £8,000 respectively following their EFL Championship fixture on 23 February 2019.

“Both clubs accepted charges for failing to ensure their players conducted themselves in an orderly fashion during the 69th minute.

“In addition, Phil Parkinson has also been fined £3,000 and will serve a two-match touchline ban with immediate effect.

“The Bolton manager accepted a charge for misconduct in relation to his language and/or behaviour in the 69th minute.”

Parkinson may have some company in the posh seats for the games against Millwall and Sheffield Wednesday, should the takeover be completed by the close of business today.

Things have come a full circle for the Wanderers boss, who walked into the club in 2016 with Ken Anderson and Dean Holdsworth still settling down in the boardroom.

His moved from Bradford City had raised eyebrows at the time. Bolton were still badly scarred by financial problems and under a transfer embargo, while his former club had just welcomed new German ownership and had grand designs on a Championship push.

Who would have guessed that nearly three years later it would be the Bantams who ploughed through a procession of managers and, at time of writing, are looking over their shoulder at League Two?

Not that things have run at all smoothly for Parkinson. In his first press conference at Bolton he said assurances had been made that transfer restrictions would be temporary – and yet they would remain in place for another two years. In six summer and winter windows, Northern Ireland international striker Josh Magennis remains the only player he has managed to purchase with cash.

If promotion in his first season had been a pleasant surprise, keeping the club in the Championship with that thrilling last-day victory against Nottingham Forest was downright shocking.

This was meant to be the season that stability was restored. So much for that plan.

Instead, Parkinson has played the downtrodden manager as financial problems stacked up around his ears, and the controversial three-year reign of Ken Anderson came to an ignominious end.

For all the external factors, Wanderers’ results on the pitch, and their pragmatic football has made it difficult for many supporters to keep faith.

Opinions vary on just how accountable the manager should be for the lack of success on the pitch but it is a fairly universal view that Parkinson would not have reached his 1,000th game with a record of two wins in 24 league games had the club’s financial situation been more stable.

In that sense, new ownership should give him the stability he has craved since walking through the doors. More likely, it will be a very short window to prove to the new men in charge that he can lead the team to better times.

Tomorrow’s opponents Millwall are cut from similar cloth. Their up-and-at-them approach worked well last season, the Lions finishing a creditable eighth, but this season Neil Harris has come in for some criticism at The Den for failing to evolve their style of play.

Should both teams play to type, the game is unlikely to please the purists. For Bolton, the need to entertain is very much secondary to points at this stage – and defeat would almost certainly leave them staring at League One football with 10 games remaining.

Victory, especially if accompanied with the wave of hope new ownership would bring, might just mean something can be salvaged yet from this forgettable campaign.

Parkinson’s job has rarely been straightforward at Bolton, and in the last 12 months he has frequently found himself trying to motivate players who have not been paid on time.

Cashflow problems have made simple things like medical supplies, training ground catering - even line paint for the pitches – luxuries that cannot be guaranteed. It is difficult to believe any other manager at Championship level has had to put up with the same.

Speaking at the start of the week, however, Parkinson said Wanderers must avoid the temptation to act as martyrs to their situation.

“You can’t start feeling sorry for yourselves,” he said. “We have to be very careful at the moment that it doesn’t creep in with everything that has gone on, the situation around us.

“The Leeds result, Swansea, they were kicks in the teeth. We have to respond on the pitch and we will do.

“I do still think we have a chance to stay in this division, no matter what is happening, what people are writing and saying about everything.

“There are teams who have been in worse situations and dug themselves out, so we will keep believing.”