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Parkinson frustrated by harsh defeat

9 February 2013

Bantams boss Phil Parkinson could not hide his disappointment after City stumbled to a barely-deserved defeat at home to a stubborn Gillingham side this Saturday.

Despite having the better of most of the match, especially in the opening half, Parkinson's men lost out thanks to a single Cody McDonald goal just past the hour mark.

Along with City's failure to turn their bright first period performance into goals, Parkinson was equally frustrated by the nature of the Gills' winning goal.

With one of the Gills' few attacks on the Bantams' goal up until that point, City were undone by a simple ball over the top from Deon Burton which allowed McDonald to nip in past Matt Duke and tap home into an unguarded goal.

Reviewing the game afterwards, Parkinson said: "We were excellent in the first half I felt, switching the play well and getting in some good positions."

"When you are dominant like we were in the first half, you have to score though. You have to score when you're on top.

"If you don't, you always run the risk of it costing you because you know most probably the opposition will come out and improve after the restart.

"They (Gillingham) did do just that, but equally, we gave them a goal out of nothing really. That is the most frustrating thing from my point of view.

"I thought they (Gillingham) looked perhaps not at their most freshness after a long trip up here and a tough game on the Monday, but we gave them a confidence boost with the goal.

"The goal lifted them, but it was a poor goal for us to give away from our point of view, and we just couldn't get that goal at the other end ourselves.

"We've got in some great positions to do so from set-pieces and open play, but big moments, defining moments, decide games. The chances we've had, we've not worked the 'keeper, and obviously their goal was an important one for them.

"I felt looking at the first half performance, it was probably as good as we've played at home in the league in a long time. We were excellent for forty-five minutes. After they scored though, I felt we became slightly frantic in our quest to get back in the match.

"We went from back to front too quickly when all of our success earlier in the match had come from passing the ball.

"We just went away from that slightly after conceding, although obviously you are going to throw caution to the wind a bit towards the end when you're chasing the game."

Flying wingers Zavon Hines and Kyel Reid were both recalled into Parkinson's starting eleven as part of an attacking line up set out by the Bantams boss.

Parkinson explained: "Me and Steve (Parkin) looked at them on Monday (Gillingham's previous match at home to Wycombe Wanderers) and we felt that the pace of Wycombe caused Gillingham massive problems."

"I felt we would cause them problems as well with our system today. I think it was the right way to go because we did cause them problems, but ultimately we have obviously lost the game. It wasn't anything to do with the wide players though."

Along with changes to City's starting eleven, there was a welcome return to the bench for Andrew Davies after nearly four months out with a knee injury. While the defender didn't make it onto the pitch, Parkinson admitted it was nice to the 27 year-old back in the fold.

Parkinson added: "It's good for Davo (Andrew Davies)."

"He's trained for the full week this week. As a manager, you have to plan and expect to be winning, especially at home, so we had Davo in mind from the bench for the final 15 minutes or so to bring on if we were winning and Gillingham decided to go direct in their pursuit of a way back into the match.

"We felt Davo's extra height and heading ability would have counter-attacked that. Nevertheless, he's been out with the lads doing the warm-up today and got a taste once again of first team action. He's an important player for us."

After representing England Under 19s and Republic of Ireland Under 21s respectively during the week, Blair Turgott and Carl McHugh missed out on places in Parkinson's match-day squad for the visit of Gillingham.

Following their recent international excursions, Parkinson says he felt it was simply best to give the duo a brief break.

He said: "We just felt it was best to leave them aside this weekend."

"Carl, for example, has played a lot of massive games for us. He's only nineteen though, and we just felt it was best to give him a little bit of a break from the action. That was it really.

"They will be both be ready and available for selection for Tuesday (vs Wycombe Wanderers)."

Rory McArdle also missed out on this Saturday's Gillingham encounter following his ankle injury picked up during last weekend's Fleetwood Town match.

Parkinson said he was hopeful that the club should have a better idea over the fitness of McArdle and fellow defender James Meredith, who on the road to recover following glandular fever, early next week.

The Bantams boss added: "He's (Rory McArdle) going to see a specialist on Monday."

"We should know more then. The results of his scan have come back and his ankle is feeling better. The results of the scan and the way his ankle is feeling don't quite match up, so we need to get it looked at by a specialist on Monday.

"Also with James Meredith, we'll have a respond from his recent blood tests on Monday as well, so we'll have a better idea of his fitness situation then as well."

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