Vital we strike the first blow, says Jones as Bantams look to buck worrying trend at Carlisle (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Vital we strike the first blow, says Gary Jones as Bantams look to buck worrying trend at Carlisle
Saturday saviour Gary Jones eyed City’s next challenge and pleaded: Let’s score first for a change.
Jones engineered a two-goal fightback for the second time in four games to rescue a point from a wild 3-3 draw with Crewe.
It was the skipper’s first scoring double for three years as City clambered back from 2-0 and 3-2 down.
The point extended the run to 12 games since their last win at MK Dons and the Bantams have only scored the opening goal in three of them.
City are straight back in action at fifth-bottom Carlisle tomorrow – under captain’s orders to strike the first blow.
Jones said: “The first goal is massive. Football is all about momentum but we can’t seem to get it at the moment.
“It takes the wind out of your sails to go behind all the time.
“The one we conceded on Saturday was sloppy and could have been avoided. But we ground out a result in the end and now we can dust ourselves down for the Carlisle game.”
Jones, who last hit two for Rochdale against Tranmere on New Year’s Day 2011, took his tally for the season to five. He revealed that working with sports psychologist John Muranka had helped him refocus on his long-range shooting.
“They were a couple of swingers really,” he added. “I just threw my right and left feet at them and fortunately the ball flew in at a decent time.
“Aaron Mclean deserves a lot of credit because they were two great lay-offs. I didn’t have to break a stride and just took a pop.
“Going 2-0 down was a massive disappointment, especially conceding the first goal that was terrible. But we’ve got spirit and character and players that never give up. It was a good point in the end.
“We’ve been down a few times this season and managed to get back in games. But we shouldn’t be scoring three at home and not winning.
“It would be nice the other way round if we got a 2-0 head start. Unfortunately it’s not to be at the moment.
“Their young goalkeeper was unbelievable and his stock’s gone up after that game – he’s probably worth £1million already! He made two or three great point-blank saves. That’s the way it’s been going and we just can’t get that elusive win.
“But if we keep plodding on and creating chances it surely can’t be far away.”
City will today check on Rory McArdle, who missed the weekend after splitting his eye open in a clash of heads while practising a corner in training on Friday.
Boss Phil Parkinson feared the Northern Ireland centre half had broken his cheekbone.
Parkinson said: “I had a tortuous afternoon waiting for the call from the hospital to come through. When I saw Rory in the treatment room, I thought he’d be out for six weeks because it didn’t look good at all.
“Fortunately there wasn’t anything broken but his eye was completely closed. There was no way he could have played.”