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Phil Parkinson fumes at ‘unrecognisable’ Bradford City display
Phil Parkinson refused to use City’s lack of numbers as an excuse for their latest loss to Rotherham and admitted: “We were poor.”
The Millers won 1-0 at Valley Parade yesterday to make it six on the bounce against their Yorkshire rivals.
It was the fifth successive meeting when City have failed to score and the defeat dropped them to 11th in League One.
Parkinson pitched in teenager Oliver McBurnie up front because he was missing James Hanson and Andy Gray, who was sidelined with the dead leg he suffered before netting against Peterborough.
Haris Vuckic, the Newcastle striker who nearly joined City in August, scored the only goal.
Parkinson was fuming with his side’s “unrecognisable” performance in the second half in front of the largest home crowd of the season.
He said: “Maybe we looked like a team who conceded before half-time again. It was a ‘here we go again’ scenario.
“In the past we’ve always found something in our reserve but we just didn’t have enough quality out there.
“I thought we played well in the first half. The goal set us back but we came back strong towards the end.
“But the second half was really poor. We were unrecognisable from what we’re all about as a team.
“I don’t think it was lack of effort. Our decision-making on the ball and basic passing was really poor.
“That’s taking into consideration we were up against a really good side and went into the game really weakened.
“We had a lot of strong characters out of our team. But I still felt we could have done a lot better in the second half.
“We were poor, we can’t hide away from that. We made too many basic errors and didn’t play with enough calmness in possession.”
Seventeen-year-old McBurnie lasted 73 minutes and Parkinson felt he coped well with the occasion.
The City boss said: “It was always a big ask of Olly but I felt he was excellent for the first 45 minutes.
“Obviously he tired towards the end but he’s going to be a good player. I thought he did everything possible in his powers to give the team a lift.
“It was a big call to put him in but I thought it was the right one in the context of the players we had out.
“We had three target men injured – Hanson, Gray and (Caleb) Folan. Gray was really struggling, which was a shame because he’d played really well at Peterborough.”
Rotherham chief Steve Evans felt his side should have won more emphatically – but he also backed the Bantams to emerge from their current slump. They have now won only once in the league since October 5.
Evans said: “We were dominant. There was an electric atmosphere but I think the crowd will feel they were beaten by the better side.
“The game was about character and we had that. The lads are disappointed we didn’t win three or four nil.
“But I have great respect for Bradford and they will bounce back.
“Bradford have some great players. I love (Gary) Jones, he plays like a 22-year-old.
“I love (Nahki) Wells, (Kyel) Reid and the keeper is useful. This is a good Bradford side and I think they will come back.”
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