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Boss encouraged by Huddersfield display

6 August 2013

Bantams boss Phil Parkinson has praised his side for running Huddersfield Town close this Tuesday after City narrowly lost out to their near neighbours in the Capital One Cup first round.

Despite making as many as seven changes from the side that started last Saturday's draw at Bristol City, Parkinson's side kept with their Championship opponents for good periods of the game and even forced a few jittery moments in the home defence late on following Nahki Wells' ninetieth-minute strike.

Parkinson said: "Nahki's goal probably came a bit too late for us to mount a real comeback, but I felt we gave a great Championship side a really good game tonight (Tuesday).

"I think if his goal had of come with about ten minutes to go, we'd have had a great chances of getting back into it.

"But it wasn't to be though. We'll still get into training later this week with a lot of things to work with and build on.

"It was such a shame we couldn't get into the half time break at nil-nil because I felt our first half display had warranted that.

"That goal gave them a lift going into the break and the second period, but there were so many good things to come from us tonight.

"We've made seven changes from the side that played on Saturday, and it was important that those lads who needed them got some match-minutes under their belts.

"We've competed against a good team, who didn't make too many changes from their Championship match on Saturday.

"We were disciplined in our shape, which you have to be against the better teams, and we passed the ball well.

"When you're up against tougher opponents, you don't want to keep giving the ball away, and I think at times we used it very well.

"Of course we wanted to win it, there is always an element of disappointment around for any game you don't win, but there were some players in the team tonight who will really have benefited from the minutes.

"The support tonight for the lads was excellent once again - hopefully the fans will have gone home from the game thinking they have got value for money."

Recent recruit Matt Taylor was one of the seven players brought into Parkinson's starting eleven as the City chief looked to freshen things up from last Saturday's season-opener at Ashton Gate.

Fellow summer signings Raffaele De Vita and Jason Kennedy were also handed their first starts in City colours at the John Smith's Stadium.

Parkinson added: "Sometimes people don't quite understand what a big ask it is to play like he (Matt Taylor) did when you haven't had a full pre-season.

"He is an experienced player though and he knows his way around a football pitch.

"At sixty-minutes or so he was always coming off no matter what the score because I didn't want to risk him picking up an injury.

"Matt was one of the players who needed the minutes tonight.

"We decided to stick with the same plan we had in place for the early rounds of this competition last season by making changes and using the squad.

"At this stage of the season it is ideal to try and get as many players as possible match sharp for the season ahead.

"It keeps them feeling part of the group, which is important as we will need them all as the season progresses.

"It is not just about eleven players - it is about the whole squad here.

"We will get nowhere if some of the group don't think they will ever play. It is about everyone pulling together in the same direction.

"We have faith in the ability of all of our squad players and sometimes it can be the best way to try and win these midweek cup matches by bringing in fresh legs.

"We always had it in our mind that we would look to not only take off Matt during the game, but to bring on the likes of Nahki, James (Hanson) and Yeatesy (Mark Yeates) if needed."

Luke Oliver was expected to be on the bench alongside those three but Parkinson decided before the game to err on the side of caution with regards the big man.

Parkinson added: "We had a staff meeting about lunchtime today to discuss the game. After thinking about it, we just felt that if we needed him too early in the game, it might be unfair to throw him into such an competitive game after such a long time out.

"As much as we would love to get big Olly (Luke Oliver) back out there, we have to be fair to him.

"So we decided to leave him for tonight and there is a game on Tuesday (a development squad match against Bradford Park Avenue) which he will play in. He should be a lot closer after that one."

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