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We will have the squad to cope

3 November 2012

City boss Phil Parkinson has defiantly declared that the Bantams will have the squad to cope with their seemingly ever-increasing fixture list.

The Bantams added another date to their diary this Saturday after earning a replay from their F.A Cup with Budweiser First Round tie at Northampton Town.

The forthcoming cup reply, expected to take place a week on Tuesday, means City now face a run of five midweek fixtures in the next six weeks.

This comes after Parkinson’s men have already featured in six Tuesday night games in around the last month and a half.

Parkinson made a number of changes for the tie at Sixfields Stadium, including a move to a diamond formation in midfield, partnering Alan Connell and Garry Thompson together in attack and dropping Nathan Doyle back into central defence.

On the whole, the changes seem to work in City’s favour, in particular during the first period, when the movement of Connell, Thompson and the fluid midfield four caused the home defence some problems.

Those positive aspects of City’s play, coupled with the effort of the players who had already put in a titantic shift at Wigan Athletic only four days earlier, gives Parkinson belief that City won’t be troubled too greatly by their fixture pile-up.

Parkinson said: "I thought we played some excellent stuff in the first half."

"I felt the system we settled for - a diamond formation with Gary Jones just behind the front two - gave them some real problems.

"Northampton are a big side and we knew they would test us on set-pieces but I felt, on the whole, we dealt really well with all of that.

"Coming after the euphoria of Tuesday night (at Wigan Athletic) and the extra-time we played, I think a lot of people outside the club may have thought that coming here would be a tough task for us.

"But I thought we surprised a few people by our performance today.

"They made a few little changes at half-time, which we expected, and they really tried to close us down.

"We eventually got through that period but unfortunately we'd conceded a goal by that stage.

"After their goal though until the full time whistle I thought we were the dominant team.  

"We made changes in personnel today and we will have to continue to make changes with the amount of games we have coming up.

"The good thing today, however, is that everyone out there looked confident enough to do a job for us. 

"Obviously ideally we wanted to win today, but the second best scenario is to still be in the hat.

"This result now leaves us with another game to our schedule but we're fit enough and strong enough to deal with it."

Joining City goalscorer Will Atkinson and the Jones’ of Ritchie and Gary in City’s diamond midfield, apprentice midfielder Scott Brown was handed his City debut by Parkinson at Northampton.

Not looking out of place at all despite his tender years, the eighteen year-old was positioned at the base of the midfield four with Gary Jones given license to support Connell and Thompson in attack.

Parkinson added: "I thought Scott was tremendous. I had no real dramas about putting him in - I was always confident he would do well."

"There was no real song or dance about it, we just told him yesterday he was playing and he just got on with it. 

"He's good on the ball and he's got that bravery within him that he always want the ball.

"We do have to remember at times he's only a youngster, but he certainly didn't look like a youngster out there today.

"For Will, we know he's capable of goals like that.

"His finish today was typical of the sort of goals he gets in training.

"I'm really pleased for him because he's done excellently for us playing in a few positions this season.

"He's certainly adding things to his game. He came on against Cheltenham recently and had a hand in two of our goals and now he's got a goal himself."


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