Bradford City boss Parkinson raves about Ricky after Swindon draw (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Bradford City boss Parkinson raves about Ricky after Swindon draw
HIGH AND MIGHTY: City centre-back Rory McArdle opens the scoring against Swindon at Valley Parade with a trademark header
The former club captain made his first league start of the season in yesterday’s 1-1 draw with Swindon.
Parkinson brought Ravenhill back early from an eight-game loan spell at Northampton – and was delighted by the midfield scrapper’s first performance back in City colours.
“Ricky set the tone,” said the City boss. “I thought he was excellent for us. Unfortunately he took a whack on his knee, which was a shame, but didn’t want to come off – that’s typical Ricky.
“The way he tackled and closed down as well as passing the ball was superb. His attitude is first class.
“When he went on loan, I said at the time that I didn’t want him to go. But Ricky just wanted to play.
“One great benefit for us is that we’ve got a player who is really up to speed in terms of match fitness.
“When we called him back, I told him he would be playing over Christmas at some point. Aidy Boothroyd had left Northampton and ultimately Ricky wanted to show he can play here – that’s his motivation.
“I just hope his knee’s okay for Wednesday (against Notts County) because we’re going to need him.”
City will be missing top scorer Nahki Wells, who went off in the first half with a tight hamstring. As the transfer window reopens, fans will be wondering if the in-demand striker will be seen again at Valley Parade.
Parkinson was gutted to lose him after James Hanson returned from a two-game injury absence. The targetman had only trained for half an hour on Saturday following a calf problem.
Parkinson added: “It’s a blow for us because Nahki and Hans are probably regarded as the best front two in the league and we just can’t get them on the pitch together for a full game.
“We got a goal up and then lost our key striker. You take the top scorer out of any team and it’s always going to be tough against a good team like Swindon. Without Nahki, we just lacked that clinical edge in the final third.
“This time of the year when the ground gets heavy, you’ll see a lot of players get those type of injuries.”
But hopes of a first home win since September were dashed by a stunning second-half equaliser from Swindon’s Spurs loanee Alex Pritchard.
“He’s an outstanding player,” admitted Parkinson. “He’s way above this level in my eyes.
“We’d spoken about having to get round him quickly when he gets the ball so that’s the disappointing thing from my point of view.
“It will go down as another fantastic goal scored against us but I felt we could have done better.”
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