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Parkinson's pride

25 September 2012

A proud Bantams boss Phil Parkinson was delighted by the effort and commitment on shown from his side this Tuesday evening after City dramatically defeated Burton Albion after extra time in the Capital One Cup Third Round.

Two goals down with only seven minutes of normal time remaining, City, despite clearly dominating for long periods of the match, looked set for a heart-breaking loss until substitute Nahki Wells popped up with two late goals to take the tie to extra time.

That then gave the opportunity for right back Stephen Darby to have his moment in the spotlight as he netted City's winner in the second period of extra time thanks to long range drive.

Parkinson said: "I couldn't be any happier with the way we played tonight."

"Going in two goals down at half time was so against the run of play. We just asked the players at half-time to keep going, keep doing what they were doing. 

"I felt we created chances throughout the game and always looked like we were going to create chances in the tie.

"We created chance after chance and standing on the touchline you did begin to wonder whether it was going to be our night. 

"I thought the subs (Nahki Wells, Kyel Reid and James Hanson) changed the game in our favour. They were terrific when they came on.

"All in all, even if I was stood here doing my press interviews having lost, after a performance like that, I'd still have been very proud of the lads.

"As it is, we've got through. What a great night for the club and what a great game of football for the supporters to enjoy. The supporters who paid their money and braved the wet weather will have hopefully gone away with big smiles on their faces.

"Full credit must go to the lads. They kept driving forward, even in extra-time. There were a lot of tired legs out there, but we kept going and got our rewards in the end."

For the recalled Darby, who was part of six changes made by Parkinson to the starting eleven that began the weekend win at Oxford United, it was his first-ever goal for the club following his summer move from Liverpool.

Parkinson added: "I thought he was exceptional tonight. He is a really good player for us and an outstanding professional. He has been very, very unfortunate not to be in the team recently. 

"I am absolutely delighted for Stevie that he takes the headlines tonight.

"One thing I'll say about Stephen, the way he has trained since he has been left out of the team has been superb. He has been a credit to himself. 

"He has trained like a demon every single day. That sort of work enabled him to perform like he did tonight and still drive forward in extra time to score the winning goal."

Given that the Bradford region, including the Coral Windows Stadium, had been hit by almost constant rain since Sunday afternoon, it was a small miracle that the tie even took place.

Despite the rain continuing to fall during the whole of the game, the pitch remained in a perfectly playable condition throughout. Credit for that, says Parkinson, must go to City's ground-staff.

The Bantams boss added: "I want to make a special mention to Mick Doyle (the club's groundsman) and his staff. 

"For me, he deserves the accolade of the man of the match. To get the game on and to have the pitch in the condition it was tonight is a real credit to him.

"I think both myself and Gary Rowett (Burton's manager) couldn't really believe the game was going to be on. We were even more surprised when we saw the quality of the surface. 

"Certainly a big 'well done' to him and everyone at the club."

For Parkinson now and everyone else connected to the club, thoughts will begin to drift towards the fourth round draw this Wednesday evening.

After being drawn against a League 1, Championship and League 2 side in previous rounds of this competition, the City chief knows what he will be hoping for this time around.

Parkinson added: "I really feel that everyone at the club - the staff, the players, the supporters and the chairmen really deserved a good tie in the next round now. A lot of work has gone into getting us to this stage (fourth round) and it would be nice to get our rewards. All we can do is keep our fingers crossed for a big tie.

"All you can do is get yourself in the hat, which is what we've done, and hope for a bit of luck tomorrow night."

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