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Parkinson holds his hands up

29 December 2012

City boss Phil Parkinson wasn't prepared to make any excuses for his side after the Bantams ended their fixtures for the calendar year with a clear-cut defeat at the hands of fellow promotion hopefuls Rochdale.

In a frantic first half at a wet Coral Windows Stadium, Parkinson's men conceded four goals to their vibrant visitors to leave them with it all to do at the interval despite Alan Connell's penalty double.

With City suffering a rare off day at headquarters, the Bantams were second best for large periods and unfortunately couldn't have many complaints about the final score in their final game of 2012.

Clearly hurting after the defeat, Parkinson admitted that City's play throughout their holiday fixture against their Lancashire opponents didn't warrant anything from the encounter.

"We have to hold our hands up and say we were second best today," admitted a disappointed Parkinson.

"Rochdale were better than us - they were sharper to the ball. 

"They passed the ball better than us, and that was the disappointing thing for us in the first half.

"We could moan a bit about some of the defending, but every time we won the ball, we gave it back to Rochdale.

"If you keep giving the ball back to a good side like Rochdale, who carry such a good attacking threat, then you are going to get punished.

"They certainly punished us today with some terrific goals.

"Conceding goals like we did, it always gives you a massive task to get back into the game."

As well as being critical of his own team's display, Parkinson was honourable enough to concede that he would also be asking himself some questions post-match.

Parkinson added: "We just didn't play today - we have to hold our hands up to that fact."

"The players have to accept that fact and look into it.

"I have to look at myself as well and the team that I selected, as I always do.

"We can moan about some of the defending and passing today, but I have to look at myself and accept that the side I selected today was probably too open.

"We could have put some fresh legs in that midfield area to help the side out. 

"We have to play with more intensity in our game in all departments. The shape of our team was too open, and our best form this season has been when we've had a solid base to work off.

"We didn't have that today."

The Dale defeat saw City concede as many goals in the first half of Saturday's game as they had in their previous SEVEN home league games. 

With the game against John Coleman's men undoubtedly finishing up as City's most disappointing home match of this season so far, Parkinson has stressed that the Rochdale loss must quickly go down as a one-off.

Parkinson added: "We have to make sure this is just an off day for us."

"We have to dust ourselves down and respond to this performance today.

"We have to go again, and we will.

"It always hurts, but especially with the manner of this defeat.

"If you play your best and still lose, you could perhaps live with it. But today, apart from when Will (Atkinson) came on and started linking some of the play, we didn't have enough football in the side today.

"We've taken plenty of plaudits this season, but now we have to regroup. We have a lot of thinking to do before that (Morecambe) game.

"We'll have a good look at Morecambe and I have to pick the right side. A team with enough energy in it to go get the right result."

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