Wrexham manager Phil Parkinson has warned that young Manchester United goalkeeper Nathan Bishop should ‘steer clear’ of him after a challenge that left Paul Mullin with a punctured lung, writes Samuel Luckhurst of the Manchester Evening News.
Wrexham took on a youthful-looking Manchester United team at the Snapdragon Stadium in San Diego, running out 3-1 winners despite Mullins’ 12th-minute injury.
Mullin was a major player in The Red Dragons’ promotion back to the Football League, smashing 38 goals in 46 National League appearances and 46 goals in all competitions. With the start of the new season just 10 days away, the nature of the striker’s injury means he is likely to miss the opening exchanges. However, no time frame has been offered concerning the recovery process as yet.
What’s Been Said?
Speaking post-match, Parkinson was not best pleased with the incident that injured his talisman, “It’s a clumsy challenge from the goalkeeper, I’m disappointed with that.”
“It should have been a straight red. If it’s not denying a goalscoring opportunity, it’s still a dangerous challenge. I’ve only just got the news in the second half (that he has punctured his lung). One of the physios went with him. We’ll find out later.”
“I’m fuming about it, I’ve got to be honest with you. It was a clumsy, reckless, challenge in a pre-season game and I’m not happy with it at all.”
“I haven’t seen the goalie and he’s probably best steering clear of us for the time being because we’re not very happy,” concluded the Wrexham boss.
Parkinson was asked whether he expects Mullin to miss the start of the season, and he responded, “Yeah, I think when you’ve got a punctured lung and you’ve got 10 days to stay fit you’re saying no.”
Asked if he knew how long Mullin might be out for, Parkinson added: “No, not at all. We just got a call from the hospital to say there’s a small puncture in his lung. It’ll probably be tomorrow morning before we get the specialist to have a look at it.”
Bishop, 24, has also reached out to Mullin on Twitter and apologised to Mullin for the ‘complete misjudgement’.
Just wanted to share my sincerest apologies to @PMullin7 A complete misjudgement and a genuine accident with 0 malicious intent at all!
Wishing you the speediest recovery and hope to see you back scoring goals as soon as possible!
— nath (@natthb13) July 26, 2023
Having seen the challenge, it is perhaps best described as clumsy and one you would hope to steer clear of during pre-season. If I were to defend the goalkeeper, the ball doesn’t carry through as you may have expected allowing Mullin to get his head to it.
Parkinson’s post-match comments about Bishop steering clear are perhaps a little over the top but you can understand his frustration at the loss of his main goal threat in a supposed friendly match.
Wrexham have a plethora of attacking players, such as Ollie Palmer and Billy Waters but the hole left by the loss of last season’s top scorer will be a hard one to fill. After Mullin and his huge return in front of goal, last season’s next top scorers were Ollie Palmer, Elliot Lee and Aaron Hayden. The magnitude of losing Mullin from the starting eleven is perhaps best realised when you see that he scored five more goals last season on his own than the next three scorers put together.
The Red Dragons will be hoping the news coming from San Diego is positive and the Liverpudlian is back leading the line quickly.