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Bradford City players put a smile on manager's face
Phil Parkinson was raving about City’s performance against high-flying Port Vale as they extended their unbeaten run since Wembley.
Last night’s 0-0 draw at second-placed Vale made it five points in three league games following the League Cup final. It could have been better, with two efforts kicked off the line and James Hanson’s header pushed on to the bar.
Parkinson said: “I’m so pleased with the way we played. The spirit of the team and the effort were outstanding.
“The way the lads keep going is so important. To keep playing with the fitness and energy we’ve shown is a great credit to their professionalism.
“I don’t want it to be a hard luck story because Jon McLaughlin has also had to pull off one of the best saves I’ve seen in a long time. How he tipped (Tom Pope’s header) round the post I will never know.
“It was one of those nights when we had so many chances and you just hoped we wouldn’t end up losing it. That would have been heart-breaking.”
It was Vale’s first goalless stalemate at home this season. For City, that made it back-to-back clean sheets after their 2-0 win at York.
Parkinson added: “It wasn’t like we set out to get a 0-0. We probably made our attacking substitutions earlier than them but also retained the shape of the team, which was important.
“We backed up that win at York and to get four points from two games on the road is great. Now we’ve got to follow it up at home to Aldershot on Saturday.”
Parkinson made three changes and highlighted the way winger Zavon Hines stretched the home defence.
“Zav was magnificent and caused so many problems. He’s getting better and better.
“He’s a talented player and he’s got a big heart. I was really impressed with him.”
The Bermudian came off the bench for the final quarter of the game after Thompson suffered a dig in the ribs.
Parkinson said: “Nahki has had a bit of a dip but I saw signs when he came on that he’s back to what he’s all about.
“I know he played a lot last year but this is his first full season of football and he’s got to understand that you’ll have dips along the way.
“Good players come out of those dips and it’s my job to make him understand what he needs to get back to doing.
“We’ve been doing that a bit with DVD work, showing him what he was doing when he was playing well and trying to get him back to that.
“He wants to be the best he can and when he came on I thought he looked sharp again.
“Thommo’s been looking good, he’s big, strong and quick and is a threat. He didn’t quite get that chance last night but he’s a real asset.”