Skip to main content Skip to site footer
Club News


2 August 2014

Bantams boss Phil Parkinson knows that all thoughts will now turn to the start of the season and the club's opener with Coventry City after City finished off their pre-season schedule this Saturday with a drawn match against Hartlepool United.

City completed their final pre-season fixtures for the summer by drawing 1-1 with Sky Bet League 2 side Hartlepool at the Coral Windows Stadium. Pools midfielder Bradley Walker opened the scoring for the visitors midway through the second period before Billy Clarke equalised for the Bantams barely a minute later.

With City's next match now scheduled to be the opening day encounter with Coventry, Parkinson feels his players are now ready for the Sky Blues contest.

The City chief has admitted, however, that the current size of the club's squad means his group isn't probably ready yet for the rigors of the full season ahead.

Raffaele De Vita has paid himself for two weeks of treatment back in his home country of Italy on a thigh problem, while Aaron Mclean is set to miss the Coventry game.

Mclean is set to return to training this coming week following a recent calf problem but, having missed most of pre-season with the injury, Parkinson knows the striker can't be rushed back into the fold too soon.

Parkinson said: "Monday, preparations begin to build and our attentions turn to Coventry.

"We have had a good pre-season I feel. We have had one or two set-backs - the main one being the injury to Aaron (Mclean) - but I think you are very lucky if you go through the whole of pre-season without something negative happening.

"The new lads have fitted in well. Not just on the pitch, but in terms of their personality and their attitude in and around the training ground. They all have their own character and they have added that to the squad.

"Mentality, we are ready for the Coventry match. Physically, we are ready too. There are only one or two players who need to do more, Aaron Mclean being the main one.

"He is fit now once again but we need to work with him to get his match fitness levels back up after missing almost all of pre-season training.

"Are we ready for the season in terms of the squad though? No, not yet.

"The players we have at the club are ready for the off and ready for that first match but squad-wise I don't feel we are ready for the season as a whole and we need to improve that."

Looking over the Hartlepool game itself, Parkinson felt City improved after the break following a low-key performance during the first half at Valley Parade.

Parkinson continued: "The first half had a bit of a pre-season feel to it. I didn't enjoy watching the first half.

"There wasn't enough energy from us. Not enough players willing to run in behind without the ball - too many players just sitting behind the ball.

"The second half, however, we stepped it up a level.

"We said to the boys at half time that we needed them to show us that they wanted to be in the starting eleven for the first game against Coventry next weekend.

"I felt they did that in the second half, and I also felt the lads who came off the bench in the second half made a statement as well.

"We know pre-season can be like this though. I remember we played Bury in a pre-season friendly in my first full season in charge and it was a bit of a slow performance from us and we went onto have one of the best seasons in the club's history.

"Despite conceding a poor goal, I thought we were better in the second half and we played with the right tempo. We played with better energy.

"Pre-season is a lot about learning. We have brought a number of players in, a lot have left us, and it is all about taking stock and assessing what you have ahead of the season."

Advertisement block