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Parkinson praises City's bounce-back

7 September 2013

Bantams boss Phil Parkinson was understandably thrilled after seeing his side secure an impressive victory over promotion-hopefuls Brentford at the Coral Windows Stadium this Saturday.

Following Tuesday's heavy Johnstone's Paint Trophy defeat at the hands of Hartlepool United, Parkinson's men bounced back in the best possible fashion with a 4-0 win over last season's League 1 Play-Off finalists.

With the visitors a player short following 'keeper David Button's straight red card for a lunge on Nahki Wells midway through the first period, City took full advantage of their extra man to run out comfortable victors.

A seventh of the season for Wells and Garry Thompson's maiden goal of the new campaign were sandwiched either of a double from James Hanson.

Parkinson: "I'm delighted with today's result because I knew it would be a tough game for us. Of all the teams in our league that I've seen so far this season, Brentford are probably the best I've watched.

"For the first 25 minutes (before Button's sending off) it was a really tight and competitive game. We had to defend well, a perfect example being when Andrew Davies dived in to win a header that was about knee-high and he could have got his head kicked off.

"We stood strong as a team, we were physical, and we played some good stuff when we could.

"Then obviously the sending off occurred. I thought Nahki was brave to go in for the challenge because it looked a dangerous tackle from where I was.

"As everyone knows, it can be difficult against ten men, but I felt at times we did look very comfortable.

"I hope there isn't too much talked about the sending off because there was a real determination in our play today - I think you could see that the lads were keen to make amends for Tuesday night."

Despite City's numerical advantage, the game was still up for grabs as the second half began with City leading only 1-0 thanks to Hanson's first of the game.

A key nine-minute burst towards the start of the second period, however, effectively ended the contest with roughly a quarter of the game still to be played.

City netted three times in that period to put to bed any thoughts the visitors might have had about an unlikely comeback.

Parkinson added: "We asked the lads for a ruthless approach in the second half because we knew that if you play with any sort of complacency against ten men, that can give the opposition confidence.

"We have seen that many times in football before, so we weren't prepared to give Brentford an inch.

"We have to make sure that visiting teams continue to find Valley Parade hard to come to.

"We say to the players every match that they must make sure they are physical all over the pitch. We have to be committed and on the front-foot, snapping into challenges. When we do that, we can then afford to play with calmness on the ball when we are in possession.

"We have to get both sides right."

Not for the first time for The Bantams, City's star striking duo of Hanson and Wells played a vital role in securing another creditable home win at the Coral Windows Stadium.

Parkinson continued: "James looked a really accomplished striker today (Saturday). 

"His aerial challenges, his hold up play, his all-round game really was superb, and he got his rewards with his two goals. 

"Nahki was great today again as well.

"The transfer window has now passed and we have managed to keep hold of him, which is a credit to the board.

"It is also a credit to Nahki because not once has he banged on my door wanting to know about any moves or speculation about him. He has just got on with his job.

"For such a young lad, that is a great credit to him and his family.

"I have dealt with young players before who have been linked with moves away and it can be not easy. Nahki's focus has been top class."

If four fantastic goals and an exciting home victory wasn't enough for the Bradford supporters, City's day was complete when Luke Oliver came off in the last minute of normal time to a tremendous reception having managed to make it through virtually all of his comeback match.

With Rory McArdle still away on international duty with Northern Ireland, Parkinson chose to select Oliver alongside Andrew Davies in central defence.

Parkinson's faith in Oliver, who was playing his maiden first team game in nearly eleven months following a serious Achilles injury, was fully rewarded as the popular defender helped The Bantams on their way to their third consecutive home clean sheet.

The Bantams chief said: "I said to the boys after the game that we should remember last season when we enjoyed all that success and Olly (Luke Oliver) was always in the dressing room wishing us good luck.

"While we were playing the games, he has working away so hard on getting his fitness back and going through all of his rehab work.

"I am pleased for him and the whole squad is pleased for him as well to see him back out on the pitch and in the team again. The supporters seemed delighted by his return as well, and I think that goes to show what high regard Luke Oliver is held in this football club."

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