Big striker Jon Parkin knows he will have to wait for his chance to shine thanks to Fleetwood Town’s superb September form.
Four wins from four mean Graham Alexander is reluctant to shuffle his squad – good news for those in the starting line-up, but for the likes of experienced campaigner Parkin it’s proving a hard month.
“I wouldn’t say it’s bad news because we want to do as well as we can,” the 31-year-old told The Gazette.
“But it’s been frustrating for me. Obviously I missed the start of the season (with a hamstring injury) and, to be fair, the lads have been doing really well.
“So I don’t have any complaints. There’s no reason to go and see the manager about it.”
Parkin’s involvement this season has been fleeting – a second-half substitute in the defeat at Wimbledon and a cameo as a late replacement for David Ball at Tranmere in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy his only appearances .
The latter proved entertaining as Parkin launched a tirade, heard by all inside Prenton Park, at Rovers defender and pantomime villain of the night Ian Goodison, over a tackle which left his team-mate needing five stitches.
“I came on at Tranmere. I came on at Wimbledon – that was a day to forget.
“I’ve just got to keep my head down, keep working as hard as I can and hopefully I’ll get a chance.”
But with his strike partners in such fine form, the former Preston and Cardiff man knows what a tricky task he has to earn the attention of Alexander.
“Bally started really well and so has Jamille,” said Parkin. A couple of goals have really changed him. He’s a different player.
“If he keeps going the way he is, he’s going to keep scoring them. It’s great to watch the lad.”
His job is made more tricky by Alexander’s use of a lone-striker, preferring the goal threat from midfield pair Jeff Hughes and Antoni Sarcevic to a second man up top.
It’s something Parkin, who scored two hat-tricks for Town last season – both in Lancashire derby games – is only too aware of. He said: “The system makes it a bit tougher when there’s three of us vying for one spot.
“I’ve just got to bide my time, that’s all I can do. You’ve just got to take a chance when you get it.”
But, despite only making the bench on a Saturday, Parkin, who negotiated a new deal with Fleetwood over the summer, knows he’s still got a role to play, be it mentor or class joker.
He said: “Hopefully I can pass on a bit of stuff, use my experience. I like to get involved in the banter a little bit.
“Even if I’m not involved in the playing side, I’d like to think I’ve still got a big part to play. It’s a long old season and you’ve got to enjoy yourself at work.
“It’s 10 months, near enough every day for that time. You’ve got to make coming to work fun.”
And fun is key to a man in his 14th season of professional football. “I’m still enjoying it,” said the striker. “It’s frustrating right now, but that’s part and parcel of football.”