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Parkinson hails huge effort

22 February 2014

Bantams boss Phil Parkinson was thrilled with the effort shown by his players as City ground out a hard-fought victory over Milton Keynes Dons this Saturday to make it back-to-back home wins for the Bantams.

Following on from Tuesday's dramatic victory over Port Vale, Parkinson's men made it two wins in less than a week thanks to James Hanson's opportunistic winner nineteen minutes from the end of normal time.

Hanson pounced for his tenth goal of the season when MK Dons 'keeper David Martin made a hash of his attempted clearance to give the City striker the chance to tap home from close range.

After a forceful and determined display last time out against Vale, City needed to put in another lung-bursting performance against a talented MK Dons outfit to secure their second win on home soil on the trot.

Given the manner of the victory and the discipline, determination and sheer hard work shown by his side then, Parkinson was left with nothing but praise for his Bantams battlers.

Parkinson said: "Today (Saturday) was a tough game - a different game to Tuesday night (Port Vale) really.

"Everyone really had to do their job on the football pitch. We got our rewards today in a different type of way to Tuesday. 

"Looking back at Tuesday night, it was one all mighty effort from us and we perhaps looked a bit leggy today as a result.

"When we spoke to Port Vale's staff after the game on Tuesday, they told us how their players said at half-time that they couldn't believe we'd be able to keep our intensity levels up in the second half, but we did.

"As a result, we didn't quite have that energy and sharpness about us today, but that was understandable.

"That meant this was a different type of victory today - we had to be very professional and very disciplined against a good side in MK Dons.

"They have some really good technical players and they do normally play with that extra man in midfield, which obviously doesn't help if you are feeling a bit leggy."

As well as praising his team's shift against MK Dons, Parkinson found time to celebrate the efforts of match-winner Hanson.

Parkinson said: "He never stopped running today - that is back-to-back performances like that for him after Tuesday night. That is some effort.

"We understand that the goalkeeper has made a bad mistake for the goal but he's still had to chase him down and show the calmness required to put the ball in the back of the net.

"He got Man of the Match from the sponsors today and I felt that was well deserved."

Following a slight injury to Aaron Mclean just after the hour mark, Parkinson decided to substitute the striker for Huddersfield Town loanee Chris Atkinson and move City into a 4-3-3 formation.

The change certainly seemed to put a halt to a bright start to the second period made by MK Dons and ultimately sent City on their way to a praiseworthy win.

The Bantams boss explained: "In that period of the game I thought MK Dons were having too much of the football in and around our box.

"I also felt we were looking a little tired in that centre of the pitch and we needed to stiffen the midfield up a bit.

"Before Aaron got injured, we were looking to make a change anyway. We wanted to get that three up the top of the pitch to press them higher while also getting that extra man in midfield.

"I certainly felt it helped us when Chris came on.

"Him and Gary (Jones) could push right up against their two midfield players and (Nathan) Doyley sat just in front of the back four. 

"Obviously getting the goal helped a lot. Having that system in place, it is very hard to break down."

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