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Parkinson staying grounded

10 August 2013

Phil Parkinson was left purring by City's superb display in their four-goal victory over Carlisle United this Saturday - but the Bantams boss says it is far too early to get carried away just yet.

Parkinson's men left a bumper crowd of over 13,600 delighted by a stunning show of attacking football as they brushed aside Carlisle with ease in their first home match back in League 1 in over six years.

Following on from their hard-fought point at Bristol City last weekend, the Carlisle victory has seen the Bantams make an encouraging start to life at League 1 level.

Despite the reasons for optimism though, Parkinson admits it is still extremely early days in the season and his side must keep working hard to establish themselves in their new division.

Parkinson said: "We just have to keep our feet on the ground.

"Obviously four-nil is great, maybe we could have scored more, but we did meet a team who had some legginess in them from playing extra time (vs Blackburn Rovers - Capital One Cup) on Wednesday night.

"We were fortunate enough to be able to switch things around a bit on Tuesday night at Huddersfield, and I think you could see the freshness in our side from the touchline.

"I know from experience myself playing and managing that when you play extra time in midweek, it can be very, very difficult. 

"Greg (Abbott, Carlisle United manager) will be low tonight (Saturday) but Carlisle are a far better team than their first two league results suggest.

"I am pleased with today's result, there's no getting away from that, but we are thinking about next week (vs Port Vale) already.

"We'll look to get some good training in with the lads this week. There are some little things we can improve on - we have to keep working hard on the training pitch.

"Bristol away will have given us belief, this result here with Carlisle will have given us more belief, but we are still trying to feel our way into the division. We have to keep growing as a team.

"In many aspects, we are going into the unknown a bit this season with a lot of new teams to face. 

"We are trying to get to know as much as we can about the players and the teams that we will be coming up against.

"We did our homework on Carlisle and we knew as much as we could about them and that is how it has to be."

Speaking about his side's performance during the game and the general quality of the play from his players, Parkinson had no doubt at all that City deserved to run out worthy winners by some margin.

He added: "The lads' efforts in the first 30 minutes of the game was probably some of the best football I've seen since I came to the club.

"We really pinned Carlisle back in and didn't let them out of their half.

"We had a great mixture to our play. We had great success going in behind with the front two but the quality of our wide players, and midfield four in general really, also shone through.

"At three goals up, we probably took our foot off the gas a little bit for the rest of the first half, but I felt we were really professional in the second half.

"We probably could have scored more than the one more we got but maybe that is being a little bit greedy - four-nil is a good return for the day.

"As I've said, they (Carlisle) played extra-time in midweek, so our game-plan was to get things going quickly, get them on the back foot and get at them early, and it worked."

Along with the quality of City's overall display, Parkinson had words of praise for the nature of the Bantams' goals.

On his home debut for the club, Mark Yeates got the ball rolling with a brilliant drive from outside the area, with James Hanson also catching the eye with a smart finish with his weaker right foot for his first goal of the season.

Parkinson continued:"It was good for Mark Yeates to get off to a good start, a goalscoring start, at home in front of our own fans.

"With Nahki's (Wells) goal, he's shown that coolness again in front of goal, and I am pleased for James as well. He is showing more and more what quality he has with his feet.

"People in the past may have looked at Hanson and thought he is just a big, strong target man. That is obviously his main strength but he has great feet and he can finish on both sides. He is showing that more and more, and the skill he showed for his goal was top class.

"Given his overall performance and the way he led the line again, it would have been a real shame if he had of gone off the pitch without getting a goal."

Having started at Huddersfield Town in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday night, Jason Kennedy was left out of Parkinson's match-day eighteen altogether for the visit of Carlisle.

Explaining his decision to do so, Parkinson said that the midfielder wasn't injured, it was just a call he made on the morning of the match.

Parkinson said: "I left Ricky (Ravenhill) out last weekend (at Bristol City) and I just flipped it around today.

"I didn't need two (central) midfield players on the bench. Jason has been terrific for us though - he is a really good player. Not only is he unlucky not to be on the bench, he is unlucky not to be in the starting eleven.

"I think he is going to be an immense player for us. The players who have come in, like Jason, have to push the lads who are in the starting eleven at the moment out of the team. Competition within a squad is great and we know that throughout the season we are going to need everyone."

Pictures kindly provided by Claire Epton

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