Bradford City strikers Connell and Gray free to pursue loan deals (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Bradford City strikers Alan Connell and Andy Gray free to pursue loan deals
SUPER SUB: Phil Parkinson has praised the impact Alan Connell has had on matches when coming off the bench
City have told Alan Connell and Andy Gray that they can look elsewhere for first-team football.
Neither striker were in the squad against Wolves last week and are unlikely to be included at Crewe tomorrow.
Connell scored nine goals last season without being able to hammer down a regular place. His involvement this term has again been restricted to late cameos, with his only start in the Capital One Cup loss to Huddersfield.
Gray has struggled to make any impact since returning for his second spell at the club in January. The former Scotland international has told Phil Parkinson that he wants to review his options in the next transfer window.
Parkinson feels now is the right time for at least one of the fringe forwards to go out on loan.
The City boss said: “If a club comes in, and we think it’s right for us and the player, then we feel we can give up one of them. We’ll see if something emerges.
“Alan’s been out the team for a while. His attitude has been spot-on but I now feel he’s at the stage where he needs to get some football somewhere to sharpen him up again.
“He hasn’t had the games since he’s been here but he’s been a very important player for us. He has won a lot of games when he has come on and made an impact.
“Andy’s in the same position. He wants to give it until January to see if he can get into the team.”
Having gone four games without a win, City will fancy their chances against the worst defence in the country. Crewe have leaked 31 goals in 14 games – and that includes two clean sheets.
They have been hit for a five and a four and let in three on five occasions – and have lost all eight games when they conceded first.
That has prompted fed-up boss Steve Davis to threaten a shake-up. He brought in England youth midfielder George Evans from Manchester City and could add another loan before kick-off.
Parkinson added: “Without being disrespectful of Crewe, because I’m certainly not, but I don’t know what system they are going to play.
“They’ve brought a loan player in this week and are talking of another and have chopped and changed their personnel.
“But this week is about us producing a really good performance and playing the way we can. If we do that we’ll be a very difficult team for Crewe to handle.
“There’s an element of frustration among the lads where we’ve played well against a very good Wolves side and come away with nothing. The last two performances are as well as we’ve played.
“We’ll go there in the same positive frame of mind. I saw Crewe at Preston and Preston could have been 3-0 up in the first 15 minutes – they weren’t and Crewe punished them with two goals.
“They’ve got some talented players but they have conceded quite a few goals this season.”
Parkinson wants to see more alertness around the penalty area to seize on the half-chances. He felt they let Wolves off in a couple of instances when on top.
“I spoke to the lads about anticipating that extra half-yard in the box and showing that bit of desire to get in there.
“I thought we played tremendously well. On another day, it could have been a 4-2 victory.
“The dividing lines in football are very tight and half a yard could be the difference to getting back in the game.
“There were a couple of incidents early in the second half and if they go in, the crowd roars us on to victory.
“But keep playing like that and we won’t be too far off.”
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