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Club News

WE STOOD UP TO THE CHALLENGE

22 October 2014

Bantams boss Phil Parkinson was full of praise for the endeavour and spirit shown by his side to twice come from behind to pick up a deserved point at unbeaten league leaders Bristol City.

Two set-piece goals from Aden Flint at either ends of the game - the second of which could have been disallowed for a nudge on Jordan Pickford - twice gave the hosts lead but levellers from Billy Clarke and Christopher Routis saw the Bantams become only the second team to claim something from Ashton Gate in the league this season.

The away point was no less than Parkinson's men had warranted from their encounter with the table-toppers either, with the Bantams coping with virtually everything throw at them in normal play while also coming up with some good scoring opportunities themselves at times.

The result was certainly the positive response Parkinson had been looking for from City following recent back-to-back Yorkshire derby defeats.

Parkinson said: "I'm obviously very pleased by the lads tonight (Tuesday).

"This was a tough challenge for us, especially after two recent losses, but we met it head on.

"We didn't come here and sit back and accept defeat. We got forward and attacked at every opportunity we could, and we probably had the best scoring chances of the game.

"We had some set-backs throughout the game but we responded well each time.

"I am so pleased for the boys because they gave us everything. They also showed a bit of belief in their own ability.

"Coming into the game tonight, all the talk was about Bristol City but we have some good players ourselves as well.

"Understandably, people have been talking about how good Bristol City's players have been playing this season but I think a few people will be going home tonight talking about some of our players also.

"We have started the game really well but their first goal is soft. We cannot allow someone like (Aden) Flint, who is 6' 5'', a free header in the box. We had a terrific spell up to our goal after that, however, and we really switched the play well. We hurt them in wide areas as much as we could.

"In the second half, they started the quicker of the two teams but I felt the longer the half went, we began to carry more of a threat going forward once again.

"The game just about panned out how we felt it would. They have some good players and they do push their wing-backs forward a lot but they also leave space in behind for the counter-attack.

"I felt there were plenty of moments where we took advantage of this and looked threatening on the counter-attack."

With the game locked at one-all with less than ten minutes of normal time remaining, the Bantams looked on their way to a hard-fought point until Flint smashed home a loose ball from a Luke Freeman corner.

City felt the goal shouldn't have stood, however, with replays showing clearly that Derrick Williams had bumped into Pickford as the 'keeper went to claim the corner delivery.

The Bantams' sense of injustice didn't last long though, as just three minutes later, Routis slammed in his first for the club after James Hanson had headed Filipe Morais' corner down into his path.

Parkinson added: "I felt it was a foul on Jordan for their (second) goal, we all did.

"To concede like that was a kick in the teeth clearly but we went again, threw everybody in the box for the set-piece and got our rewards."

Point-earner Routis played at right back for City at Ashton Gate in a much-changed Bantams starting eleven.

Gary Liddle and James Meredith were recalled back into the side, while Jon Stead and Andy Halliday were given first starts following their recent loan moves.

A candid Parkinson said: "I thought Chris (Routis) found it tough to begin with at right back.

"With Bristol City playing with wing backs, it perhaps caught him a bit cold to start with but he improved as the game went on. He certainly never shied away from having the ball.

"I thought Andy Halliday was excellent.

"He's had a couple of decent chances to score in the game and he looked alive attacking the far post when crosses were coming in from the other side.

"Jon Stead has put in a really good centre forward's performance.

"We are pleased to have him back. The lads all like him because they know that he is always going to put an honest display in when he puts a shirt on.

"He has quality to go with that honesty as well - some of his hold-up play was really good."



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