Goals at Park just for Parky

Blackpool's Charlie Adam celebrates scoring their first goal of the game during the Barclays Premier League match at St James' Park, Newcastle
Blackpool's Charlie Adam celebrates scoring their first goal of the game during the Barclays Premier League match at St James' Park, Newcastle
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SEPTEMBER 11, 2010. Newcastle 0 Blackpool 2. The Seasiders rack up another victory to continue their terrific early season form in the Premier League.

But instead of being a joyous and exuberant coach journey home, it was sober and reflective.

The reason: Gary Parkinson, the Seasiders coach, had suffered a huge stroke earlier in the week.

He was in a critical condition as the match kicked off. Everyone at the club was aware of the plight of their colleague and friend, and no-one was in the mood to celebrate, no matter how satisfying the victory had been.

Parkinson remains in a rehabilitation centre in Bury, where he is continuing to undergo treatment.

And he hasn’t been forgotten by anyone at Bloomfield Road, particularly by one of the goalscorers from that emotional day at St James’ Park.

“I remember that goal well,” says DJ Campbell, “because it was my first since signing permanently and it was also probably my best finish of the ten Premier League goals I’ve got this season.

“But most of all it was my favourite because of what had happened to Parky and what it meant at the time.

“It felt like we were doing it for him and that’s why we celebrated it like we did (Campbell lifting his shirt to unveil a handwritten message in support of the club’s youth team, which Parkinson ran).

“It would be great to stay in this division for Parky.”

Indeed it would, and for everyone else connected with the club.

But with the Seasiders slipping into the bottom three for the first time all season, there is little room for error with just five games to go (and two of them at Manchester United and Tottenham).

Of their remaining three home games, they need – if we’re being blunt – two wins to give themselves a chance of staying up.

With the pressure growing, are Campbell and co not beginning to panic a little?

“That’s a toughie because obviously we don’t want to be in the situation we are. We are in the relegation zone for the first time all season,” said the striker.

“You could say a lot of people expected us to be in this position, so why should we panic and why should there be pressure on us?

“We shouldn’t have any pressure really.

“Put simply, we are in the situation we find ourselves in and we need to deal with it.

“As the gaffer said on Saturday, we all need to stick together and dig deep, and hopefully we can do the business.

“But it’s true – we need to win two of our three remaining home games. I’ve said that for the last fortnight – the home games are massive.

“Unfortunately we have managed to lose our last two here, against Arsenal and Wigan.

“Hopefully we can get six points from the next two, against Newcastle and Stoke, because the away games at Tottenham and Manchester United are not what you’d call easy.

“Then again, United might have won the league by then and other teams might not have much to play for, so it’s not impossible.

“But our season starts now really. We’ve got to stick together, keep smiling, keep training hard and keep believing we can do this. Hopefully that will be enough.

“It got us into the Premier League and from the start of the season our togetherness and the way we work for each other have been second to none.

“We need to keep that going to get back to what we were achieving earlier in the season.”

DJ can play his part. He’s the only Pool striker to have truly been a regular goalscorer this season, and a few more would be handy between now and the end of the campaign.

“I just love scoring goals and I want a few more yet,” he added. “I hope I can because I think we’ll need them.”

That much isn’t in doubt.