Parrott: I Want to Play Every Minute of Every Game
Friday, 12th Feb 2021 12:36
Troy Parrott is looking forward to Town’s hectic schedule over the next few weeks, a period that will see them play 11 League One games in the space of 35 days as they look to revive their promotion hopes following a dip in form that has seen them slip towards mid-table.
The confident young Tottenham loanee said: “I love the responsibility and I think I thrive on it. I’ve come in and started the last two games, which is what I wanted. I now want to keep my place in the team.
“I know the onus is on me to score goals and I accept I will need to start doing that – soon. I enjoy the pressure that comes with it.
“I’ve only just turned 19 so I hope I’m up to the workload. I would expect to be able to cope with it and as far as I’m concerned I don’t just want to play in every game, I want to play every minute of every game. That will be my aim going forward.”
Next up for Paul Lambert’s men is tomorrow’s trip to face a Shrewsbury side beaten just twice in their 12 league games under manager Steve Cotterill, who took charge in November but has been laid low in recent weeks and is still in hospital recovering from the Covid virus.
Cotterill may not have been hands-on but has managed to deliver his team talks from his hospital bed and the in-form Shrews collected another three points at the expense of Sunderland in midweek, which didn’t go unnoticed by Parrott.
He added: “We all want to win and we’ll be going into the game with that positive attitude. I’ve noticed that Shrewsbury are in a bit of good form and have won their last two games. But we’re confident we can go there and get the win we need.”
Parrott occupied the lone striker role in last week’s much-needed home win over Blackpool and lined up alongside by James Norwood in Tuesday’s 2-1 defeat at Peterborough, a front pairing that only lasted until the break when Norwood was deemed unable to come out for the second half through injury.
“I can play in either role. I don’t mind where I play or who I play alongside – as long as I’m in the team I’m happy,” Parrott continued. “The two roles are different in terms of the pressing and stuff like that.
“As one of two strikers it might be easier for the midfielders or the defenders to find either of us and when you’re up front on your own you have to work that bit harder. I don’t mind doing either job.
“James knows where the net is and you saw that in the early part of the game at Peterborough when he got one chance and put it away.
“I enjoyed the half I had with him, making movements off him. We hadn’t had a great deal of time working on things in training but the partnership seemed to work.
“When the ball went up to James he held it up or flicked it on and I was just trying to read where the ball was going to drop and make the runs in behind. Before the game he said we were going to play close together and I think that’s what we did.”
Parrott is determined to pull his weight with Town and while creative colleagues like Alan Judge, Andre Dozzell, Flynn Downes and Gwion Edwards might be able to provide the ammunition for him to start scoring he also sees assists as being a big part of his own game.
He added: “It’s not all about me needing other players to create opportunities for me because I feel I can do the same for them as well. But they are all creative players and I have enjoyed playing with them so far.
“The understanding between us will only improve as we go forward and hopefully we will be able to create chances for each other and we will start to get some more wins.
“Of course I want to get goals myself but I regard it as just as important if I can create a goal for someone else. In the end a goal is a goal and it doesn’t matter who scores them.
“It’s a huge contribution to the team whether you score or provide an assist for a team-mate.
“But we need wins and that means we’ll have to score goals. We all want to win and nobody likes losing or even drawing a game. That’s what we must try to do because if we string a few wins together it will make such a difference to our league position.”
Parrott will even step forward and take penalties if required with the Blues still to be awarded a spot-kick this season with their most recent at home to Peterborough in February last year which James Norwood converted, the longest gap without being awarded one in the club’s history.
“I haven’t had that discussion yet with the boys but I’m sure I will be up for it when it happens,” he quipped.
He spent the first half of the season on loan at Millwall – 10 starts, four substitute appearances, no goals – but wasn’t always used in his preferred role as a striker.
“Looking from the outside, it maybe doesn’t look as if the loan spell at Millwall went particularly well,” he said, “but for me I gained a lot of experience in the Championship, which is a decent level of football, and I’ll take that on and use it to help me.
“I sometimes played in behind the striker or coming in from the left for the Irish youth and U21 teams. There are always going to be people saying ‘He’s playing out of position’ but I didn’t see it like that. I was just happy to be in the team and it didn’t matter where I played.
“I’ve played in the Championship and now I’m in League One. Will I get more chances here? I think it just depends on the game and how it goes, plus of course the level of opposition you are playing against.
“Sometimes it might just need a bit of luck to score but there are always going to be chances, regardless of how they come along. When you get one chance and take it maybe two or three will follow. I think that’s the way football works really.”
Parrott is keen to make an impact at club level, which should help him when it comes to retaining his place in the Republic of Ireland squad, where Norwich striker Adam Idah, a year his senior, is one of his main rivals for a call-up.
He added: “I’ve played with Adam all the way up through the various age levels with Ireland. I don’t just love playing alongside him, he’s also a good lad and I get along very well with him.”
Photo: Matchday Images
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