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Parkinson pleased with City opener

3 August 2013

Bantams boss Phil Parkinson was full of praise for his City side as they twice came from behind to pick up a point in their opening game of the 2013/2014 campaign at Bristol City.

Parkinson's men fell behind once in each half during their first game back in League 1 since 2007 but goals from Nahki Wells and Rory McArdle capped off an encouraging display for City with a point.

Parkinson said: "It took us a little bit of time to settle into the first half - perhaps just a bit of apprehension at the start of a new season. Once we got into the game though, we played really well up until half time.

"We then came out after the break in the same manner and really dominated the game - right up until they scored their second goal really. That was obviously a set back because they hadn't really threatened us in the half up until that point.

"We came back though, as we know we are capable of doing, and we got back in the game.

"It was important that we came back because I felt our performance warranted at least a point.

"We said to the boys before the game that this match wouldn't make or break our season but we felt it was important to put in a performance that was what we are all about as a squad.

"We have come up against a team that has come down from the Championship and that has a lot of good players in it.

"When you look at the resources they have and the stadium and training facilities here, you find it a bit hard to believe they (Bristol City) have dropped down to this division.

"They are going to be right up there, there is no question about that, but I felt we acquitted ourselves so well today (Saturday). There were so many good things to come out of the match."

City's efforts to twice come from a losing position to secure a draw from their season-opener were all the more creditable given the circumstances in which both Bristol City's goals were scored.

The Robins' first goal of the match came with barely ten minutes played through Wagstaff - giving the hosts an early confidence boost in the process - while Emmanuel-Thomas' goal was a bit of a sucker-punch for the Bantams as it happened after a good period of Bradford pressure following the restart.

As they showed on numerous occasions last season though, Parkinson's men have a habit of bouncing back off the floor. Having seen his side perform such an act again this Saturday, he was once more left in no doubt about his side's character. 

Parkinson continued: "You have to keep believing on the pitch, and the lads did that.

"As we said to the lads after the game, even at this level, we have players who can create and score goals.

"Whatever the score is, the lads know that they have to keep driving forward and striving on for that extra yard. We did that and we got our rewards - we never, ever accept defeat."

City's Ashton Gate point was their first of any kind from the opening day of a league campaign for five years.

Entering into their 2013/2014 campaign with an away match at one of League 1's pre-season promotion favourites, Parkinson was glad to see City's performance and McArdle's brave header for their second leveller get the Bantams off the mark early doors.

Parkinson added: "It was terrific header by Rory, it really was. He showed real determination to get there. 

"It is certainly good to get the first point on the board. It is always good to get that scoreboard ticking over.

"When the fixtures came out, this might have been seen as a good fixture for Bristol City at home to a promoted team - no-one probably expected much from us apart from ourselves.

"The only pressure in this game for us was the pressure we put on ourselves to put in a good performance. To get a point out of the match on top of the performance is great."

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