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WE HAVE CHOICES TO MAKE

24 October 2014

Bantams boss Phil Parkinson has acknowledged that he has options available to him as he ponders his starting line up for this Saturday's trip to Oldham Athletic.

City's bench at Bristol City on Tuesday included the likes of Alan Sheehan, James Hanson, Billy Knott and Aaron Mclean, while captain Stephen Darby is back from suspension, giving Parkinson some choices should he look to make changes for the short trip to Oldham this weekend.

Parkinson has revealed that Hanson was moved down to the bench at Ashton Gate as a precautionary measure given his recent return from injury, adding that the striker is now ready to battle it out once again for a starting berth.

With Andrew Davies unlikely to feature at Oldham's SportsDirect.com Park this Saturday due the calf problem that forced him off early on Tuesday, Sheehan could be asked again to fill in for Davies at centre half after replacing him during the Bristol City game.

Parkinson said: "We took the decision on Tuesday to remove (James) Hanson from the starting eleven and rest him a bit after only just coming back from his thigh issue.

"Jon Stead and Billy Clarke started in his place and played very well.

"They looked a good partnership which could create chances, and in Billy's case, score goals as well.

"It is a decision we have to make with Hans now. Do we put him back in or does he has to wait and earn his spot back?

"Stephen (Darby) is another who comes back into the frame. His winning mentality is very important to us and we welcome him back.

"With Andrew (Davies), he's had an injection today (Friday) so we expect him back on the training pitch early next week.

"When he has had this injection before he has normally needed a few days off afterwards.

"If we give him Saturday and Sunday off, give him some rehab work with Matt (Barrass, Head Physio) on Monday, we should be able to welcome him back onto the training ground by Tuesday if all goes well."

Along with mulling over his team selection, Parkinson has plenty to think about in terms of his side's shape for the fixture.

Using a 4-4-1-1 formation, City operated with out-and-out wingers in Tuesday's Bristol City match but Parkinson's men have had great success this season - especially away from home - playing with a 'diamond shape' in midfield.

Parkinson could be tempted into using such a shape again given the fact that Oldham also currently use the same tactic for their midfield. 

Parkinson added: "We went to Bristol City on Tuesday and I think they expected us to play a certain way and we caught them a bit by surprise. We'll go to Oldham on Saturday and hopefully do the same again.

"We will certainly be keeping our team selection and team formation close to our chests.

"Whatever we go with though, we know we will need to have the flexibility in the side to be able to change things around if it isn't entirely going to plan for us.

"Oldham have had some good recent success playing with a 'diamond' in midfield but so have we.

"As I mentioned before the Bristol game, we need to pick a side that is able to cope with the opposition's threats but also is capable enough to give them problems as well when we go forward.

"If you go into a game with the intention of sitting back and trying to soak up pressure for 90 minutes, most of the time you will end up losing.

"We want to attack and score goals."

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