Keeper’s jersey in safe hands with McLaughlin, says Bantams boss (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Keeper’s jersey in safe hands with Jon McLaughlin, says Bantams boss
City have launched a hunt for another back-up keeper as Connor Ripley prepares to leave after tomorrow’s trip to Notts County.
The youngster has been recalled from his half-season loan by Middlesbrough after starting only one game – the 5-0 JPT thrashing against Hartlepool.
Parkinson has irons in the fire to replace him but the next stopper will have to go some to shift McLaughlin.
His consistent form has not given Ripley an inkling of first-team football.
The longest-serving player at the club, McLaughlin has grasped the jersey since winning it back from Matt Duke during the promotion run-in.
Parkinson said: “Jon’s been here a few years and been in and out the team. We felt at the start we were going to give him a go at it.
"Irrespective of who we brought in, the way Jon finished last season he deserved that opportunity. That was only fair because of the work he’s put in.
“He was no problem at all when we brought in Dukey and he wasn’t in the team.
“Jon is an intelligent lad and he understands the mentality of being a goalkeeper. When you haven’t been number one for a while, suddenly playing week in, week out is a different challenge.
“But he has done well. He’s pulled off big saves in games for us.
“I do think he is still a goalkeeper who has got improvement in him. He’s still got to keep working hard on his game and Jon knows that – he wants to be the best he can.”
McLaughlin has missed only one league game – when he was rested at Cheltenham on the final day of last season – since regaining the spot from Duke in March.
Parkinson also believes he has benefited from the daily sessions with goalkeeping coach Lee Butler.
“Jon’s work in training with Lee Butler has been exceptional,” he added. “Lee and Connor have pushed him hard on the training ground and you can see the benefits.
“Now it’s down to him to keep that going and to keep working on his game.
“I have to say Connor has been great for us. He obviously wanted to play more but in terms of attitude, he has been terrific.
“We need to find another goalkeeper now and we have got a few ideas. Once the Notts County game is out of the way, we’ll be looking to do something.”
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