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Bradford City fans right to have a go, says Phil Parkinson
Phil Parkinson admitted that City deserved to be booed off after their abject home loss to Walsall.
The Bantams did not have one shot on target in a 2-0 defeat that drags them towards the League One survival scrap.
Fans vented their frustration at the final whistle and Parkinson had no complaints.
He said: “I can’t blame the supporters one bit for booing us off the pitch. We all deserve it, me in particular because I picked the team and set us out how I wanted to play.
“They have backed us so well, so they are more than entitled to get on our backs after that.
“It was as ineffective a performance as I can remember in terms of attempts at goal and crosses.
“I was more disappointed with the lack of reaction to get back in the game when we conceded.
“Our supporters have backed us to the hilt over the last couple of years because we’ll fight tooth and nail if we do go behind. They didn’t see that.”
Craig Westcarr’s second-half double did the damage against a City side without James Hanson, who was sidelined by his ongoing back problem.
With Andy Gray and Aaron Mclean making little headway up front, Hanson came on for the last half hour but also failed to have any impact.
Parkinson said: “I wasn’t even going to put him on the bench but Oli McBurnie was ill. In the end I had to use him to try and give us a lift.
“The front two can give you that by getting a goal out of nothing, chasing a lost cause or sparking us off with a bit of closing down. We didn’t see enough of that in the final third.
“You certainly can’t blame Andy Gray because we’ve thrown him in the deep end. It’s a really tough ask for someone of his age who hasn’t played for a long time.
“It summed up the performance with three minutes to go when we had two chances to put the ball in the box with quality and we came back out.
“That’s not (what you expect from) any team chasing the game – whether you’re top of the Premiership or bottom of the Conference.”
After back-to-back losses and listless performances, Parkinson stressed that City were now very much involved in the dogfight to stay up.
He said: “We’ve got eight games to go and we’re in a real scrap at the bottom of the table. I’ve got to make sure we come through it.
“But we’ll only do that by working together as a team and fighting for each other every step of the way.
“I go back to the Port Vale game when we reminded the lads they were in a scrap. We had to fight for our lives and we did.
“Now I just think since the Colchester and Gillingham games, maybe we’ve started to believe we’re okay. People have started to talk about next season and this and that.
“We’ve got one almighty challenge ahead of us and we have to meet it head on.”
Meanwhile, City’s under-18s have been crowned north-east champions of the Youth Alliance.
A 0-0 draw with second-placed Doncaster yesterday and Scunthorpe’s loss to Notts County meant the young Bantams cannot be caught.
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