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Parkinson pleased with Athlone efforts

17 July 2013

Bantams boss Phil Parkinson was pleased with both the effort and application of his players this Tuesday evening as they ran out convincing 4-1 winners over Athlone Town in the first of their two Irish friendlies.


The win, City's second in a row in pre-season following last Saturday's victory over Guiseley, was secured thanks to goals from Nahki Wells, Mark Yeates, Rory McArdle and Alan Connell.


The scoreline could have even been more handsome in City's favour with James Hanson and Garry Thompson both hitting the bar during the game.


Despite the Bantams being so early into their pre-season programme of friendly fixtures, Parkinson was delighted by the intensity of City's play, especially in the first period, as they worked hard to close down opponents who are halfway through their own league season.


Parkinson said: "It was a good night's work for us.


"They (Athlone) are a good side in their division, currently sitting second in the league, and they have some good young players. But we created a lot of chances, the wide players looked threatening and our forwards all had good attempts on goal.


"It was important that we worked hard and closed down as a unit tonight (Tuesday). You have to be very careful in pre-season that you don't have slow, pedestrian sort of games because that is not the sort of football we are going to encounter when we kick off the season in League 1.


"We have to try and replicate what we are going to have to do in League 1 in these friendly games. The lads know that they have to work hard, close down, force mistakes and when we do get the ball, we have to play with that little bit of composure.


"Athlone are in the middle of the season and they are a fit bunch of lads - that is why it is good to come over to places like this at this time of the year."


Coupled with the four goals scored against Guiseley last weekend, City's haul from the Athlone friendly takes Parkinson's men up to eight goals for pre-season after only two games.


While too much probably shouldn't be read into that little stat at the moment, Parkinson is certainly pleased with the attacking threat carried by his team so far.


Parkinson added: "Similar to Saturday really, we want to look like a team that can get goals.


"That is really important. We did against Guiseley and we did again tonight against Athlone.


"We have created a number of chances over these two games and we have looked like scoring which is important. Mark (Yeates) has come into tonight and took his goal well. He is a good player and I am sure he will make things happen for us.


"Nahki and Hans (James Hanson) have looked threatening again this evening, and it is now two in two for Alan Connell. Along with a lot of the guys, he has come back from the summer break looking fresh and in good shape."


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