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PARKINSON PLEASED TO SEE HIS SIDE PASS 'BIG TEST'

28 December 2014

Bantams boss Phil Parkinson was naturally thrilled to see his side's hard work and effort rewarded with victory over Notts County in their final game of 2014 this Sunday.

Billy Knott's goal four minutes from the interval, coupled with a lung-bursting effort from Parkinson's men playing their second game in three days, was enough to hand County their first defeat on the road this season and extend the Bantams unbeaten run to nine games.

Following Knott's first half opener, City had their chances to put the game to bed in the second period but they were left having to see the game out in the final stages.

With memories of Scunthorpe United's last-grasp equaliser during City's last home game still fresh in the mind, there were some nerves in the stands when five minutes of injury time were added on. 

The Bantams stood strong, however, much to Parkinson's delight.

Parkinson said: "It was a big test for us today (Sunday) against a side that had previously been unbeaten away from home.

"They have a lot of nous in their team, a lot of experience, and I can see why they have done so well so far this season.

"It was also a test of character for us having conceded so late in our previous home game (vs Scunthorpe United). 

"After winning at Chesterfield, we had the chance to back that up by winning at home to Scunthorpe.

"Our performance wasn't the worst - probably 5% or 10% down on our normal levels - but there was almost a feeling that we'd done the hard work by winning away and that the home game would take care of itself.

"You can't have that - you have to earn the right to win every game of football.

"We had another opportunity after winning at Fleetwood and we weren't going to let it slip this time around. There was no mental weakness on the pitch from us at all.

"We can through this test of character well.

"Physically we looked strong but mentally we looked even stronger, and that is really important.

"Considering we'd played on Friday, I thought the energy levels out there from us were fantastic.

"I don't think you'd be able to tell that we'd played a game only two days before going by that performance.

"We would have loved to have got that second goal but there was no doubting that it was a deserved victory from us.

"We had the test of seeing the game out at the end but in some way it was good for us to go through that and come out the other side with the win. 

"The crowd were fantastic again as well - they played their part.

"They turned up in numbers and they got really behind the team and urged them on. The lads were almost playing on adrenaline alone at the end and that was credit to the supporters."

After returning to a diamond shape in midfield against Fleetwood following its use earlier in the season, Parkinson kept with the same set up for the visit of County.

The players at either end of the point - Gary Liddle and match-winner Knott - were particularly impressive during the game and drew praise from the Bantams chief afterwards.

Parkinson said: "There were some big performances out there.

"It was nice to see Gary Jones and Garry Thompson back at the ground but I thought Gary Liddle in the middle of the park was exceptional.

"He read the game really well, he passed it well, won tackles, won headers and I thought he was excellent.

"Billy played in that attacking role and I felt he became more dangerous as the game worn on.

"As the game opened up, he had more opportunity to show his quality - he certainly has that in abundance.

"He played with energy, which we asked him to do. He covered every blade of grass and he has produced a moment of quality to win us the game."

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