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Phil Parkinson urges Bantams to bring away-day resolve home
Phil Parkinson wants City to bring their resilience on the road to Valley Parade against Peterborough tonight.
The Bantams will effectively rubber-stamp their League One status with a win against sixth-placed Posh. But home points have been elusive in recent weeks.
While City have banked three shut-outs on the trot on their travels, they were booed off in successive Valley Parade losses to Walsall and Oldham.
Parkinson hopes his side can put that right by replicating the solid no-nonsense approach from their last three trips.
“We need that same mentality,” he said. “Orient, Coventry and Rotherham are three of the top-scoring teams in the league and the way we’ve played in those games have been outstanding.
“Defenders are judged on defending, winning headers, blocking – not at how they do on the ball. That’s their stock in trade.
“Away from home we’re happy to do that but in home games we sometimes try to be a bit clever. We need to get that solid base at home.
“If it means we play five in midfield, we’ll do that. If it means with 20 minutes to go we have to change, we’ll do that.
“Obviously there is an element of sometimes being too open at home.
“Teams come and set themselves up to sit back and counter-attack. We then leave gaps going forward and get exploited.
“Think of the second half at Orient. We had a nice solid shape about the team and we hit them on the counter and could have scored more goals.
“We know teams do things differently home and away but you need to be resilient and organised and keep a good shape. Get those basics right and the rest will take care of itself.”
City will make a late call on James Hanson and Aaron Mclean. Hanson has returned to training this week after his groin and lower back issues, while Posh old boy Mclean, who missed Rotherham with a hamstring problem, was practising with the squad yesterday.
Parkinson said: “Aaron’s making good progress. It’s not a serious injury and when he’s right, he will be back involved.
“James Hanson is the same. He’s feeling really good but we’ve got to make sure that when he plays he feels really confident in himself.”
Posh boast the hottest striker in the division in Britt Assombalonga, who has 30 goals under his belt – including 21 in the league.
Parkinson anticipates an attack-minded style from the visitors, even if he is not sure what formation Darren Ferguson will employ.
“They play a diamond at the moment, 4-4-2 a couple of weeks ago and three at the back at Preston.
“Whatever way they play, they are very gung-ho and will commit players forward. You can see how they’ve won or lost the majority of games.
“The goal scorer Assombalonga is probably the difference between the two teams. That’s what separates us and them over the course of the season.
“They’ve won the JPT and are in the play-offs so it’s been a good season for them. People probably expect Peterborough to win this game.
“They will be favourites but let’s see that type of togetherness we’ve had on our travels.”
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