It's time we brought home the points, says Bantams boss ahead of Swindon clash (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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It's time we brought home the points, says Bantams boss Phil Parkinson ahead of Swindon clash
City have banished all play-off talk as they try to piece their crumbling season back together.
The Bantams face Swindon tomorrow still looking for a first home win since September 28.
Boxing Day’s one-sided loss to Rotherham increased their current slump to only one victory in 13 games – a slide which has seen them drop from fourth to 11th.
They sit eight points off the top six but Phil Parkinson insists that is not even on the agenda right now. His only concern is finding that elusive three points.
Parkinson said: “Believe you me, I’m not looking at the play-offs at the moment.
“I’m looking at us putting in a hard-working display against Swindon.
“We started the season terrifically well and maybe that’s given everyone false belief. Of course we want to get there (into the top six) but I need to get this show back on the road again.
“We need to get a victory from somewhere. That is the most important thing.”
City are desperate to get James Hanson back in the front line and will give him as long as possible to prove his fitness.
The targetman has missed the last two defeats with a tight calf and was also suffering with a stomach bug over Christmas.
That has cleared and he has been working intensively with physio Matt Barrass for the past couple of days.
Parkinson is desperate to get some more “big characters” back on the field but it could still be a risk.
Ricky Ravenhill could also come into contention after being recalled ten days early from his loan spell at Northampton. He was an unused substitute on Boxing Day.
Parkinson added: “We are struggling for numbers and we only just had enough to fill the bench.
“Ricky’s a character we need back in the trenches.”
City will look back on 2013 as one of the most momentous years in their history with two visits to Wembley and a promotion. But it is in danger of petering out as they continue to slip down the League One table.
Parkinson added: “We’ve had some good times over the last 18 months but these are the really difficult ones. We are struggling.
“But we need to pull together – myself, the players and the supporters.
“Being a supporter, manager and a player, that’s what football is all about. You stick together through the bad times and you enjoy the good ones together.
“We’ve had plenty of those and now we’re having a tough time. I’ve got to find a way out of that with the team and we’ll certainly do that.
“Is it a good thing to be playing again so soon? It depends if we’ve got the players back. I can’t say if that’s good or not until I see the situation.”
Seventh-placed Swindon are not the same team away from the County Ground. Twenty five of their 33 points have come at home.
Mark Cooper’s side have won twice and lost seven on the road, including a 3-2 Boxing Day defeat at Brentford after twice being in front. Like City, they have struggled to keep a clean sheet with only one in the last ten games.
Cooper has another issue with controversial striker Nile Ranger, who failed to show up at training yesterday after playing at Griffin Park.
The Swindon boss said: “He has a tremendous talent and he’s still a very young man but he’s wasting it. The frustration is with him and for him.
“It’s difficult but he’s only going to have himself to blame because he’s had so many chances. He’s a tremendous centre forward and a great number nine but sometimes the group is more important.”
Dany N’Guessan, a familiar opponent for City in his Lincoln days, could step in after missing Thursday’s game through illness.
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