PHIL Parkinson believes patience finally paid off for Gary Madine this week – and now the Wanderers boss is backing his striker to stay on the goal trail.

Madine’s goal at Sunderland ended a nine-game barren run and capped a man-of-the-match display.

Parkinson has kept faith with the 27-year-old in recent weeks despite calls in some quarters to shake-up his attacking options.

A third strike of the season was made especially sweet for the Gateshead-born boyhood Newcastle United fan as it was also the 200th scored by Bolton in all fixtures against Sunderland.

“I think he deserves a special mention because I think that was his best all-round performance of the season, which culminated in his goal,” Parkinson told The Bolton News.

“He took on two centre-halves who have played at Premier League level and it was a very good number nine performance.”

Madine has put more shots on target than any other striker in the Championship over the first 15 games. That statistic has not necessarily been mirrored in his goal-scoring return but Parkinson hopes his front man gets a confidence boost after Tuesday night.

“I felt he was getting a little bit low over the last week in terms of not getting goals but he’s had chances,” he said.

“When he has got in the right areas I think he’s been composed but had things blocked on the line, saved by the keeper or bounce off the bar and post. You’ll go through spells like that as a striker but you have to keep going.

“He has been leading the line well and he was a great platform for us against Sunderland, so hopefully he takes that now into the weekend against Norwich.”

Wanderers will run checks on Filipe Morais (stomach), Andy Taylor (back) and Adam Le Fondre (calf) before the visit of Norwich City tomorrow.

After going the whole of October unbeaten, Parkinson is looking for a positive start to the new month.

“There are definitely things we can improve on from the Sunderland game,” he said. “But there is a belief among the players at the moment, which is good.

“The attacking players are looking a real threat and I think we can go into the Norwich game with confidence.”