PHIL PARKINSON praised the way his side responded to the nightmare start against Burton Albion and never doubted Wrexham would be on the end of a heavy defeat.

Parkinson made wholesale changes for the EFL Trophy second round tie at The Racecourse and the League One Brewers took the lead inside the opening 30 seconds before making it 2-0 in the third minute.

Sam Dalby quickly pulled a goal back and although Burton went 3-1 up in the 64th minute, the Reds kept going to the end and Jordan Davies reduced the deficit in added time.

Wrexham bowed out of the competition after losing 3-2 but Parkinson felt his side performed well, particularly in the opening half.

"We couldn't get off to a worse start in the first five minutes but after that I thought we played really well in the first half," said Parkinson.

"Considering we made a lot of changes and needed players to get some game-time, up to half-time I thought we looked likely to get back in the game and it was an outstanding goal from Sam.

"We were excellent in the first half and we had some other good chances but couldn't quite get the second goal.

"Second half, the quality of our balls into Sam and Jake Bickerstaff wasn't as good as it was in the first-half but you have also got to take into consideration we had a lot of players on the pitch who hadn't played a lot recently, and Burton are a League One side who didn't have a game at the weekend and picked a very strong team."

Burton led two-nil with less than three minutes on the clock but Parkinson was delighted with the response.

"When you go two-nil down and we picked a team of players lacking game-time and others inexperienced in the positions we played them, you could go and get beat three or four," said the Reds' boss.

"But I never doubted it. The lads really shrugged that start off, we got back into it, played some great football and looked a real threat, certainly in that first period, and should have had a penalty; the tackle on Callum McFadzean is beyond belief.

"The lads kept going right to the end which is the spirit we want."

Parkinson, who made 11 changes from the side that started Sunday's 3-0 FA Cup win against Yeovil which secured a third round derby clash at Shrewsbury Town, brought on Ollie Palmer, Billy Waters and James McClean with 20 minutes to go in a bid to get back into the contest.

"We had a plan to use a few of the senior players towards the end if we needed to chase the game," he added.

"The third goal was such a shame because I felt the freshness on the bench would get us back in it.

"We got the goal late-on, a great header from Jordan, it wasn't to be but I felt there were a lot of plus points.

"A lot of the lads did themselves a lot of credit."