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Parkinson pleased after Rotherham draw

11 April 2014

Bantams boss Phil Parkinson found plenty to be pleased about with his side's display after City's goalless draw with Yorkshire neighbours Rotherham United this Friday.

In front of the Sky Sports cameras, Parkinson's men held promotion-chasing Rotherham at bay to pick up a deserved point from their third trip to the New York Stadium.

Coming up against a Rotherham side already certain of their Play-Off place come the end of the season, Parkinson was encouraged to see City show the discipline and endeavour required to secure a share of the spoils.

And having come off very much second best on the club's previous two trips to Rotherham's new home, the Bantams boss admitted he was glad that City could gain something from their latest visit to South Yorkshire.

Parkinson said: "I felt it was a great effort from the lads tonight (Friday).

"Rotherham are a good side and I think that is the first time they haven't scored at home since November.

"The lads stuck to their tasks very well and they kept to the game-plan from the first minute to the last.

"Of course, they had some chances, but so did we, certainly in the second half on the break.

"It was a solid performance from us, full of spirit and commitment, and we looked a fit, strong team out there.

"I was pleased with the display.

"We've had some tough days here at this New York Stadium, as our supporters will know, and we spoke to the lads about this before the game and told them there was no way that could happen again.

"I'm really pleased to be leaving this stadium with our pride intact because it has been dented on our last couple of visits here. Tonight has helped us to restore a bit of pride against our local rivals."

City's clean-sheet collected from their televised Rotherham fixture was the club's fourth shut-out in their last five away matches.

Parkinson added: "To go to Leyton Orient, Coventry and here at Rotherham tonight - three sides who have got a lot of goals this season - and come away with three clean-sheets is an enormous credit to the whole team.

"Clean-sheets are about the whole team - not just the goalie and the back four. Everybody worked for that clean sheet tonight."

Led by the impressive Jon Stead in attack, City lined up in a 4-3-3 formation at the New York Stadium, with the fit-again Nathan Doyle asked to sit just in front of the back four.

Parkinson continued: "I thought Jon got better as the game wore on.

"It is very difficult up there in that position because it always involves a lot of running. He made a lot of honest challenges up there tonight and if he didn't win the ball, he at least stopped their defender getting a clean header back over our midfield.

"He enabled us to pick up a lot of second balls. His work ethic for the team tonight was impressive as well.

"I was going to bring him off after about 70 minutes because of the effort he'd put in but he seemed to kick on again.

"We looked at the 4-3-3 formation for this one during the week and we felt it just gave us a stronger base.

"Putting (Nathan) Doyley in front of our back four, almost acting as a sweeper, certainly helped us. Doyley was terrific tonight.

"After getting injured against Shrewsbury, Doyley's only had a couple of light training sessions since but he put his hand up for this one.

"Again, like with Jon, I thought we might only get 70 minutes out of him, but he managed to see it out."

The Rotherham draw for City took Parkinson's men up 50 points in the league table.

Despite reaching this tally in the season - the total normally seen by many as the safety mark - Parkinson knows that City still have work to do in their final four matches of the 2013/2014 campaign.

When asked if City could ease off any in their remaining fixtures this season, Parkinson replied: "Not at all.

"I think we have been guilty of that in the past. We've had a couple of good results and we've thought we were already there.

"We're not though because the teams at the bottom will pick up points.

"There will be teams over the next week or so who suddenly can't get automatic promotion or who can't get in the Play-Offs and they may take their eye of the ball slightly as a result. We have to be mindful of that because the teams are the bottom are fighting for their lives and some shock results could happen.

"We have to make sure on (next) Friday night against Peterborough that we play in the manner of a team who are fighting to stay in the division. 

"When we've done that in the past this season, we've got good results."

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