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WE WILL LEARN A LOT FROM IRELAND

16 July 2014

Bantams boss Phil Parkinson believes he will learn a lot about his squad by the end of City's week-long stay in Ireland.

Parkinson's men were edged out 3-2 by Irish Premier Division side UCD AFC this Tuesday evening in the first of the Bantams' two pre-season friendlies during their time in the Emerald Isle.

The City chief was unhappy with the defending for all three of UCD's goals as he used the match as an opportunity to give as many as twenty-two players some game-time.

With UCD, as predicted by Parkinson pre-match, giving City a good physical work-out as well, the Bantams manager feels there is plenty to be taken from the defeat at the UCD Bowl.

Parkinson said: "This week is all about assessing the squad as a whole.

"It is about seeing what we have exactly at the moment within the squad and what we might need to add to it to make ourselves competitive this season. 

"This includes looking at different players playing in different roles and different positions in the team.

"This is one of the main things we are doing while we are out here. I feel we will be lot wiser once we get on the plane come Saturday evening.

"As we knew they would be, UCD are a young and fit side and they gave us a tough game. 

"One of the benefits of coming to Ireland is that they are in their mid-season and their players are already match-fit. They certainly showed that tonight.

"They were very sharp and asked us a few questions, but that is the sort of tests you want in pre-season.

"We conceded three poor goals though in the game.

"The first one was a set-play which we had walked through this (Tuesday) morning - just a little bit of organising cost us there. 

The second goal we should have just cleared it, while the third one was from a mis-placed pass."

Despite the loss, some of the positives to come from the game included the return of Matt Taylor after five months out with a foot injury and two more goals for Lewis Clarkson following his double against Guiseley last Saturday.

Parkinson added: "You never want to lose a game but there was some good stuff to come from tonight, such as Lewis Clarkson's two goals.

"He has looked bright recently and his confidence was up after the Guiseley game and his two goals there.

"He has trained really well since we've got here (Ireland) and he took his goals really well. The first one was a real goalscorers' finish and the second one was taken well at the end of a nice move.

"It was important for Matt to get 45 minutes under his belt because obviously he has missed a lot of football.

"Hopefully we can get him some more game-time on Saturday (vs Shelbourne)."

Billy Knott and Gary Liddle will need to be assessed after each taking a knock in the UCD game but, all being well, Parkinson will look to move those who started Tuesday on the bench up into the starting eleven for Saturday's match at Shelbourne.

Parkinson added: "Billy Knott just got a whack on his ankle and Gary Liddle got a kick on his achilles but, if everyone is fit, we'll look to swap the team around from tonight for Shelbourne on Saturday."


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