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Looking forward to new challenges

31 December 2013

Bantams boss Phil Parkinson believes City should embrace the challenges they are set to face up in the second half of the season.

Having reached the halfway point of their first League 1 campaign in seven years with a home draw against Swindon Town on Sunday, Parkinson's men kick off their next set of fixtures with a trip to bottom side Notts County on New Year's Day.

Parkinson openly admits that City ended 2013 not quite picking up the points haul they would have liked but he remains confident that it won't take much to see them once again receive the rewards their efforts deserve.

He said: "We go into this new year looking forward to it.

"We haven't got the results we would have liked as of late - we can't hide away from that - but we still head into this year with great anticipation.

"As I said to the players after the Swindon match on Sunday, let's relish the challenges these teams are throwing up against us.

"We know we are in a tough league but we've shown we are more than capable of matching up to anybody.

"When you're on a run like us where you probably aren't getting the results you deserve, there's only one way of turning that around, and that's by sticking together as a group and working hard for each other.

"In the end, we got a good draw against Swindon because they're a good side. Obviously losing Nahki (Wells) in the game was a blow, but we kept going. In terms of the effort and commitment we showed, we must always keep that.

"If we keep playing like that and keep working hard for each other, something will come for us. We are putting demands on our attacking players to produce when they get in those goalscoring opportunities because they are all capable of that.

"If we do produce from those situations, the honest endeavour we are showing at the moment will be rewarded."

City's encounter with Notts County will be their third match in only seven days over the festive period. With Parkinson's side not facing up to another game for further ten days though due to this weekend's F.A Cup ties, the City chief believes his players will still be able to go full throttle at Meadow Lane.

Parkinson added: "We've looked at the lads in training today (Tuesday) and we'll pick a team who we feel can play to the maximum. We haven't a game this weekend though, so we don't have to leave anything in the tank on Wednesday.

"We can go full out to try and get the three points.

"We are looking at a few scenarios to perhaps put a bit of freshness in there as well though.

"If we can achieve that with maybe two or three players, that will benefit us I'm sure."

Heading into the Bantams' first fixture of 2014, Parkinson admits he has some injury concerns to contend with.

Nathan Doyle is struggling with a groin strain, while Matt Taylor (hamstring), Andy Gray (dead leg) and Raffaele De Vita (thigh) all look set to miss out again.

Ricky Ravenhill will also need to be assessed after taking a whack to his knee during Sunday's Swindon Town fixture. Nahki Wells remains a major doubt due to a hamstring problem picked up during the same match but Parkinson has refused to totally rule the Bermudian out just yet.

Parkinson continued: "We have a few problems.

"(Nathan) Doyley has picked up a problem from Sunday, along with Ricky and Nahki. It is too early to say on all of those three really at the moment. We'll wait until tomorrow (Wednesday) morning to finalise the team.

"We are fully aware of the fact that you are going to get injuries at this stage of the season. Nahki's,for example, is a very minor injury. We don't feel it is too serious or anything to be overly concerned about.

"Whether tomorrow comes too soon for him, we'll have to wait and see."


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