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We can Devon-itely still make play-offs, says Phil Parkinson as Bradford City face crucial week in south west
Phil Parkinson remains ada-mant that City can still take their campaign to the wire.
The Bantams head south later today for a double-header in Devon that could have a major bearing on their aspirations of making the play-offs.
Tomorrow’s trip to basement club Plymouth is followed with a clash against Exeter – who currently occupy the seventh spot that City are chasing.
They missed the chance to gain ground at the weekend after Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Aldershot and have now gone five without a league win at Valley Parade.
Sub Alan Connell’s penalty deep in stoppage time salvaged a point from an afternoon that City had dominated.
The gap behind Exeter is still nine points with two games in hand but Parkinson insists the spirit shown to rescue such a late draw proves his side have the stamina for the pursuit.
He said: “We’re going to keep going until the ref blows the last whistle of the last game. This season is very much alive and we’ve got to make sure it stays like that.
“The league table is as it was and we’re ready for an important week on our travels.
“I thought the lads were fantastic. I’ve said it before but given the amount of games we’ve had this season, you have to give immense credit to the fitness and attitude of the players to keep driving on like that.”
Parkinson had demanded a return to the fortress spirit that marked City’s home games up to the last win there on Boxing Day.
But despite bossing the relegation-threatened Shots, they were heading for a fourth home defeat in five after Kieron Cadogan’s free-kick sneaked in.
The game was in the seventh of eight extra minutes when Zavon Hines was tripped in the box and Connell levelled it up with his ninth goal of the season.
Parkinson added: “I thought it was a soft goal we conceded and it was important at half-time that we didn’t feel sorry for ourselves.
“We came out and did everything we could to get back in the game. It would have been a travesty if we hadn’t got anything.
“The crowd stuck with us and I think our supporters always identify when they see the team having a go. You want that because it gives the lads a lift.”
Parkinson will assess his options before the trek to Home Park but Connell is pushing for his first start in 11 games.
The City chief said: “It gives us food for thought because that was a tough game. Aldershot put themselves on the line because they are fighting for their lives.
“We’ve got two long journeys but that’s part and parcel (of football). Plymouth and Torquay have to do it every other week, so we’re not going to moan about that.
“Good players and good teams don’t make excuses. We’re looking forward to it.
“Plymouth are bottom of the league and will be scrapping for everything but with that comes an edginess and we’ve got to try to exploit that.”