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Club News


17 September 2014

Bantams boss Phil Parkinson was left beaming by the standard of his side's display after City recorded an impressive victory at the home of an in-form Milton Keynes Dons.

First half goals from Aaron Mclean and Billy Clarke were enough to reward a determined and controlled Bantams performance with three welcome points - the club's third straight away win in the league.

Disciplined in defence and purposeful and bright in attack, Parkinson's men managed to find some of their spark again with a commendable performance against threatening opponents after recent back-to-back home losses.

Parkinson said: "I am so proud of the boys tonight (Tuesday).

"You could talk highly about each and every player out there - they all contributed. They put their bodies on the line when they had to.

"It was a great team performance.

"The way we kept the ball at times and took the sting out of the game was top class. The way MK Dons play they do leave space in behind and they give you room on the pitch to threaten them if you get the ball in the right areas.

"We let them back in it a bit at 2-0 with their goal and we finished the first half a bit deep, but the second half we were superb.

"We were really disciplined throughout the night, I felt Billy Clarke's goal typified this as well.

"He has covered the ground to get back into position and to put pressure on their central defenders. The centre half has dropped it on his chest with a wayward pass and he has run through and scored a great goal.

"If he hadn't got back into that position 5 or 6 yards either way, he wouldn't have had the opportunity to score that goal.

"There is no denying that we were down after the Swindon game (last Saturday). It was more frustration really that we had let the game slip away because of the goals we gave away.

"But football is about resiliency and character and I felt the players and staff showed plenty of that tonight - it will be a happy bus on the way home."

Clarke's twenty-seventh minute strike from the edge of the area to give City a two-goal advantage was the striker's first competitive goal for the club.

Parkinson added: "I am pleased for Billy, I really am.

"All strikers get frustrated if they don't score, and I think that might have been the case for Billy over the last couple of games.

"He has his goal tonight, however, and I thought his overall play was very good."

While Clarke may have secured his first goal for the Bantams, team-mate Christopher Routis made his maiden league start for the club at stadiummk, replacing the suspended Alan Sheehan in central defence.

Parkinson continued: "Chris Routis was immense tonight.

"He has come into the team for this game and he has shown great composure.

"His heading was great, which is something he has been working on.

"Considering the little amount of time he has had on the pitch for us ahead of tonight's game, I thought he was magnificent."

City's victory at MK Dons was all the more impressive given the fact that they lost James Hanson in the warm-up after the striker had originally been named in the Bantams' starting eleven.

Parkinson explained: "James has just strained his thigh slightly. He did it in the warm-up.

"We had obviously worked on our set-pieces defensively yesterday (Monday) for this game and he was clearly a part of it. To have to change that around a bit with only five minutes or so to go before kick off then wasn't ideal.

"It meant giving different jobs to people but I felt they all did very well.

"They showed a lot of responsibility with their roles."

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