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Bantams winger Kyel Reid benefits from heart-to-heart with Phil Parkinson over dip in form
Kyel Reid reckons a few choice words from Phil Parkin-son have set him up for a strong finish to City’s season.
The speedy left winger has looked back to his exciting best in the last two appearances and will be a crucial weapon if the Bantams are to mount a last-gasp challenge for the top seven.
Reid came off the bench to energise the side in the second half at Exeter, scoring from a corner, before delivering another lively display in Tuesday’s victory over Wycombe.
Reid’s free-kick led to Garry Thompson’s goal and he is keen to carry that form into tomorrow’s Valley Parade clash with Bristol Rovers – another must-win encounter to keep play-off hopes alive.
He credits his welcome revival to a heart-to-heart with the City boss and a two-day break in London with his family.
Reid said: “We had a chat last week and I agreed with him that I was dipping. He’s known me a long time – and probably knows me better than anyone.
“I know he wants the best for me so I’ve got to listen and take it on board. I’ve got a lot of respect for him and we talk a lot.
“He knows where I’ve come from and what I am capable of doing.
“He knows that me being up here without my family is difficult and he shows that support. So he gives me time when he feels I need it to go home.
“I had a couple of days off last week to go back and see my partner and our little boy and I came back Saturday feeling fresh and good. I think that showed in my performance.
“I’m trying to get myself back to where I was. We set ourselves a target of what he wanted from the last ten games and hopefully I’m on course now to hit that.”
Reid has been unable to nail down a regular starting slot since a groin injury kept him out for ten weeks before Christmas. And he was not involved in the Capital One Cup final – something that hit him hard.
He added: “It was disappointing not to be in the first 11 or to even get on. The sending off (of Matt Duke) didn’t help.
“The gaffer had a plan and he was just about to send me on before Dukey got sent off.
“But we’ve got to move on and put that behind us and concentrate on these final games and doing as well as possible as individuals and as a team.
“I haven’t been up to scratch in the last few weeks. Whether it was the injury that affected me or not being in the team, that’s where I’ve got to look at myself and work harder and demand more.
“I want to get back on my ‘A’ game and find that level of consistency I had towards the end of last season when I came back from my hamstring injury.
“I want to give the team that buzz and extra energy we need and the support we’re probably lacking in the final third.”
Parkinson, who made the winger his first signing as City boss in August 2011, needs no reminding what an on-song Reid can offer. He is hoping they can coax that form back out of him for the business-end of the season.
He said: “We’re probably quick to jump on the back of Reidy sometimes, like when you see a cross fly behind the goal. But he keeps trying things.
“We’ve detected over the last few weeks that confidence levels might have dipped for him. But he has got that back because he worked hard after his poor performance at Plymouth.
“He worked hard in training, when he came on in the second half against Exeter and then again on Tuesday night. You get your rewards in football. Performances don’t just happen, they have to be earned.
“We’re prepared to help him get back to his best and I’m certainly seeing signs of that.”