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WE NEED TO PLAY WITH THE RIGHT INTENSITY

2 October 2015

Bantams boss Phil Parkinson says he knows City will have to be up for the battle when they face Rochdale in a Roses derby at Spotland Stadium this Saturday.

Following back-to-back defeats at the hands of Peterborough United and Colchester United, Parkinson is demanding his players show the stomach for the fight this weekend when they come up against fifth-placed Dale, a side known for their high tempo football under boss Keith Hill.

With Parkinson mulling over possible changes from the starting XI that began Tuesday's loss at Colchester, the City chief delayed naming his side to the players this Friday.

Whoever is given the nod for a starting berth though, Parkinson knows they must ready to work hard from the off for the right to play their football. 

Parkinson said: "We have been taking our time over this team. We have options available to us and we want to get the right team out there on the pitch on Saturday.

"We have played Rochdale a few times now in recent years - we know what sort of game it is going to be.

"They play with a certain intensity and with a 4-3-3 formation. You have to match them, especially in the early part of the game.

"You look at their match against Shrewsbury Town on Tuesday night, Shrewsbury were 3-0 down before they realised they were in a game.

"We have to start the game properly when we go there.

"We did that last season and then showed our quality to get the goals when the match opened up in the second period.

"We need a team that is going to be ready to run and compete.

"Rochdale have a physicality to them but we have also shown at times this season - perhaps not as much as we would have liked - that so have we.

"We like playing there because we always bring a lot of supporters and it makes for a good atmosphere. We have to make sure that we play in a manner our fans are accustomed to though.

"That is showing hard-work, energy and application. That is certainly what we will be looking for.

"At times we have done that this season - Oldham away is a good example - but we have to sustain that for every minute of every game."

As Parkinson ponders his team selection ahead of this weekend, the Bantams boss will be boosted by the return of Rory McArdle after the defender missed Tuesday's match at Colchester United through illness.

Josh Morris is still sidelined, however, and he slowly battles back to full fitness following a knee injury.

Parkinson added: ""Rory missed yesterday (Thursday) but he was back in today (Friday). Thankfully, he looks fine.

"He was nowhere near ready to play on Tuesday. Rory is a tough lad - he would have played if he could have done.

"With Josh, he is going to be (out) for a little longer than we thought.

"He is back running in straight lines now but it is the twisting and turning work that he hasn't really been able to do yet.

"We have some big games coming up and we had only one wide player - Mark Marshall - available to us at the start of this week before we brought Kyel (Reid) back in.

"That is no disrespect to Dylan (Mottley-Henry) but I just feel that he is probably at the same stage Oli (McBurnie) was last season. He needs a month or so of football out on loan somewhere - that is his next progression."



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