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PARKINSON LOOKING FOR A RESPONSE AT GILLINGHAM

31 December 2015

Bantams boss Phil Parkinson wants City to start off the new calendar year by righting a few wrongs from their recent Yorkshire derby defeat at Sheffield United.

City kick off their fixtures for 2016 with a long trip south to promotion contenders Gillingham this weekend following their 3-1 loss at Bramall Lane on Bank Holiday Monday.

Parkinson has spent this week reviewing the display against the Blades and working with the squad on how to make improvements for the match with Gillingham.

The Gills currently sit third in the Sky Bet League 1 table after picking up back-to-back wins over the festive period, and Parkinson knows any victory at the Priestfield Stadium would be a big shot in the arm for his side's confidence levels.

Parkinson said: "Gillingham have done very well to maintain their form throughout this season so far but we want to use this game as an opportunity to respond to the defeat at Sheffield United.

"There are certainly things from that game that we can do better.

"We will be speaking to the lads and working on things before the game.

"We are asking for a response from the players for this game, and we will need one. When you come up against the top sides in the division, like Gillingham, the intensity of the games are normally like something you might see in the Championship.

"When you meet the top teams, you have to produce your best performances if you want to get anything.

"The two clubs have almost matched each other in the league over the last few years but they are ahead of us at the moment and it will be a big boost if we can get the three points."

City have spent the week using local artificial pitches at St Mary's Menston and Bradford Academy as the clean up work continues at their Apperley Bridge training ground following the Boxing Day floods.

Parkinson added: "I'd like to thank the schools and academies who have let us use their great facilities this week.

"It is very important throughout this period that we find suitable places to train.

"While we might not be able to get onto grass at the moment, some of the 4G pitches around are top class.

"The 4G pitch at the (Woodhouse Grove) school looks like it will need to be completely relaid because of the flood damage.

"We are not exactly sure about how long that could take but it could be months rather than weeks.

"The grass pitches have a lot of debris on them from the flood water and that needs clearing first and foremost to make it safe for the lads to train on.

"If we have to drive to different places to train, we will do. The most important thing is that we keep our training levels up to the standard we have been used to."

Loanee striker Jordan Bowery is expected to miss out on the Gillingham match due to a back injury. Josh Morris and Steven Davies - both sidelined recently due to knee injuries - are continuing to make progress and it is hoped they will be back in action soon.

Parkinson continued: "Jordan Bowery has picked up a back injury which looks like it should rule him out but everyone else is fine.

"Josh is as close as he has been (to a return) throughout his injury - we are hopeful he can join in with training this week.

"Steven Davies had his progress slowed a bit because of a chest infection which caused him to miss about ten days of his rehab.

"That obviously set him back a bit but we still hope to see him return to fitness in a couple of weeks."

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