STEVE Parkin saluted the spirit which helped topple high-flying Cardiff City – and hopes it can do the trick again today at Middlesbrough.

Pressure had been building after successive defeats against Nottingham Forest and Burton Albion but assistant boss Parkin felt the close-knit group produced the perfect response on Saturday to keep the Whites within touching distance of safety.

Phil Parkinson and his team were looking to get their homework right once again last night, the team spending the night in a hotel in preparation to face Boro – who sacked manager Garry Monk after a weekend win over Sheffield Wednesday.

Speculation had started to mount over Wanderers’ own managerial situation in light of Ken Anderson’s midweek comments about recruitment and recent form but Parkin explained the focus remained squarely on preparation, and not what was being said elsewhere.

“We are a tight unit – the six, including Tim Breacker – who came across from Bradford, and the staff who were here at Bolton, who have been brilliant,” he told The Bolton News.

“We tend to put all the outside stuff to one side and try to concentrate on game to game. We were all upset by the Burton defeat but sometimes you have to put it into context. They came and did a job on us, just like we did Cardiff.

“The build-up to the Cardiff game was tense. We put it on the players’ toes that we needed a big performance. They responded brilliantly.

“We always feel that to win games at this level, everything has to be right. There can’t be injuries, slip-ups in training, people turning up late, it has to be right in every department. Going into the game we felt all the parts of the jigsaw were there.

“We need to do that again at Boro. It has to be spot on.”

Wanderers ended up comfortable winners on Saturday, scoring twice in the final 15 minutes through Gary Madine and Josh Vela.

Parkin said: “It’s pleasing to keep a clean sheet, we haven’t had many this season. Last season’s promotion was built on it, and so that was a big thing for me.”