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Parkinson reflects on Brentford loss

8 March 2014

Bantams boss Phil Parkinson was realistic in his assessment of City's defeat at the hands of high-flying Brentford.

As pointed out by the City chief post-match, the Bantams looked relatively comfortable against their promotion-chasing hosts until Brentford's opener from Bradford-born striker Clayton Donaldson just past the hour mark.

Parkinson accepts that Donaldson's goal was a key moment in the match, and the boss feels it is a strike that City could have done more to prevent.

Given the high quality of the Bantams' opposition this Saturday though, Parkinson believes there were some positives to take from City's trip to the capital.

Parkinson said: "I think you could sense just before the first goal that the crowd were just starting to get a little bit frustrated.

"They will have come to the game expecting to see a home win but I felt we had done a good job up until that point in terms of the discipline of our display.

"Their first goal was avoidable though. We'd spoken the lads beforehand about Brentford's strengths and that they have dangerous players who can shoot from outside the area.

"We'd spoken about their ability to shoot from distance and the fact that we'd need to get out and block shots. The one time we haven't done that, we've been punished for it.

"That has given a good team a lift and it's given their crowd a lift too.

"Brentford have some good technical players and they were a difficult team to contain after that.

"We have been missing some key players here today (Saturday). To come here and hope to beat a team like Brentford, you really need your best players out on the football pitch.

"We weren't at our strongest today but we did have a group who were willing to roll their sleeves up and give us everything. There was no problems when it came to the endeavour of the team.

"We were perhaps, however, just lacking a little bit of calmness in the final third, especially when we had some good opportunities to get forward in the first half.

"Overall, there was some good things from today and we now move our thoughts onto this Tuesday at Colchester."

With Chris Atkinson handed his first City start in a 4-5-1 formation, Parkinson elected to tweak things slightly for the visit to Brentford.

Parkinson added: "We looked at how Brentford usually play with their 4-3-3. Wolves came here recently and played a similar system to us and caused them some problems.

"Brentford are clearly a good team and the main strength of their team is in the heart of that midfield, especially (Adam) Forshaw and (George) Saville. 

"As a result, we decided to go as solid as we could in there. Equally though, with Adam Reach and Kyle Bennett on the wings, we felt Brentford were a team you can exploit on the counter-attack because their full backs do push on and leave space behind.

"At times I felt on the break we looked like we could threaten."

Following his loan move from Leeds United on Friday, Adam Drury came on as a late substitute at Griffin Park for his Bantams debut.

Parkinson said: "We came in early Friday morning, so did Andrew, to try and look at things for this game but obviously his calf still wasn't right. Carl McHugh has also had a calf problem in the build up to this game.

"We just felt that if Carl had a reaction to that and we were going into the game with only three fit defenders, that wasn't going to be enough.

"We couldn't take that risk so we brought Adam in.

"He gives us that option we have been looking for at left back and we look forward to having him in our squad."

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