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Parkinson hails 'home' performance

21 September 2013

Bantams boss Phil Parkinson has hailed his side's away showing at Gillingham this Saturday as City secured their first victory on the road this season.

An early goal from a Gary Jones corner was enough to grab all three points for Parkinson's men, with City having further chances throughout the game to extend their advantage.

Reflecting on the game afterwards, Parkinson pointed out that foundations for the win began in the club's hotel on the Friday night.

The City chief revealed that, in a bid to recreate the club's impressive home form on the road, his players agreed that the best way to go into the Gillingham match was to treat it as if the game was on their own patch.

Parkinson said: "We had a lot of chances to kill off the game - we just couldn't get that second goal.

"The way have played today (Saturday), however, I am just so proud of the boys.

"We had a chat with the players in the hotel last (Friday) night about our performances away from home.

"Although we had only lost one of our three away matches before today, I felt in two of them we didn't really start until half time.

"We are a positive team and we play at our best when we are on the front foot. If you play like that away from home though, it has to be 100% all of the time. You cannot afford either to have two or three players not at the races as well.

"The players knew this already - they gave us all the answers we wanted in the meeting.

"They were the ones who expressed what they needed to do today to win the game, and they carried it out to the letter.

"If we are to play this high octane brand of football, we know we need to play like the home side even at away games.

"That is how the players want to play and that is how they enjoy playing their football.

"We have lots of threats in this team and sometimes you can be tempted away from home to tighten things up and change the personnel around to make us more solid.

"I am always wary of doing this, however, in case it gives the home manager a bit of a boost when he sees that we have left out one of our key attacking players.

"You could see today that the balance of their side was affected because they were worried about how to deal with certain players on our team."

Gillingham, who were promoted out of League 2 last season along with City, came into this Saturday's contest without a win to their name all campaign and Parkinson was wary of a potential backlash from Martin Allen's men.

Parkinson added: "Today was always going to be a tricky game.

"Coming into the game, yes, Gillingham haven't had a win yet, but they have been unfortunate to lose in some of the matches I have seen of them.

"I'd seen them away to Coventry City and Crawley Town and they haven't been getting beat by three of four goals. It has only been by the odd goal.

"Brentford have also come here and needed a last minute equaliser to get a point, so I knew here there would be an intensity to their play today.

"With the crowd behind them, I am sure Gillingham were really determined to get that first win of the season this afternoon.

"As a result, it was a dangerous game for us but we coped with it well.

"Gillingham put you under pressure with the long throws, the corners and free-kicks, so I was really pleased by our resiliency.

"We had to stand strong as a team, and a clean sheet away from home is always a good feeling."

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