MANAGER, negotiator, politician… There probably isn’t another job in football quite like Phil Parkinson’s at present.

Wanderers fans have not been shy to voice their opinion when things have gone wrong on the pitch but even his biggest detractors remain respectful of the man who has led the club through some of the choppiest waters in its recent history.

Parkinson’s tactics have come in for criticism since Bolton returned to the Championship but nearly every comment of disapproval comes with a caveat, recognising some of the constraints he has been working under.

They came to the fore once again yesterday as Ken Anderson’s pledge to pay players their February wages came to nothing – and left the Bolton boss being asked questions to which he had no real answer.

His press conference was designed to preview a home game against Sheffield Wednesday, a game which should have been viewed with a degree of optimism given the victory against Millwall at the weekend.

Once again, however, questions on the game itself were scarce, and Parkinson was left treading a diplomatic line for fear of turning a drama into a full-blown crisis.

Wanderers’ players can theoretically give notice to declare their contract null and void if they are not paid by Thursday, March 14.

Asked his thoughts on the prospect, Parkinson answered: “I would hate it to get to that stage, and it’s premature because there is a lot going on behind the scenes as we speak.”

A club statement, hinting that progress is now being made on the takeover, validated the manager’s words. And that he holds an informed view is down more to his own investigative work, rather than any information passed on from above.

Parkinson has found himself operating way beyond the remit of a regular football manager at times in his near three-year spell in the North West. His quest for knowledge has helped the squad feel more secure, at least until recently.

“It’s important I know as much as I can do because I’ve had to advise to the players, and I have to go to them. Andy Taylor is the PFA rep and he has spoken to them throughout the season on several issues, he’s good at that, he’s done a good job for the club,” he said.

Parkinson had to give assurances to Polish full-back Pawel Olkowski, who has found the language barrier difficult when surveying headlines about non-payment, winding-up orders, administration and the like.

The defender brought his family over from Germany in the summer on the promise he would be joining a club looking to stabilise in the Championship.

“Pawel came over here and I talked him into coming here over several Bundesliga sides,” Parkinson told The Bolton News. “We had the problem with the bonuses over the summer but I’d assured him that it was okay.

“We’ve had issues as the season has gone on, so this week I had a chat with him and his solicitor, who acted as interpreter, and it was important to explain everything.

“Pawel does speak English but when people speak quickly in meetings it is not easy to get everything.

“When you look at his season he started brilliantly for us but he had a dip. A few concerns haven’t helped him but I thought he was brilliant on Saturday.”

Wednesday’s visit might have been overshadowed by events but Wanderers are still going into the game with some momentum after the weekend win against Millwall.

The two sides met in November, when a solitary Tom Lees goal condemned Wanderers to defeat, but Parkinson reckons the Owls will be a different prospect under Steve Bruce.

“They’ve played 4-4-2 or 4-4-1-1 since Steve Bruce has been in,” he said.

“It looks like Steven Fletcher is out, which is definitely a boost for us because I watched him in the derby and he’s a player at the top of his form.

“Barry Bannan is still a key player for them, Adam Reach is someone I know well from Bradford. Steve has gone in got them organised and simplified things a bit. He has got results off the back of it.

“I don’t think it will be a team like Norwich where there are 35 passes from the half way line. They will look to hit the strikers early and then play off the second balls. It will be similar to the way we had to deal with Millwall.

“Steve has changed it around quite a bit, so I don’t think we can learn much from the first game.

“There was nothing in the game, it was a set play that decided it, and we were hugely frustrated on the night. We’d been to Millwall and got a result and it was a flat performance but the shape of the team has changed since then. Sheffield Wednesday’s key players are still the key players but their style has changed.”