Bantams boss Parkinson pledges to keep the peace against Coventry (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Bantams boss Phil Parkinson says there is no bad blood between himself and Coventry counterpart Steven Pressley
Phil Parkinson insists there will be no afters with Steven Pressley when they share the Northampton touchline tonight.
The two managers were involved in a post-match spat after City’s televised thriller with Coventry in November when the Sky Blues chief branded the home side’s football as “dark age”.
But Parkinson, who was sent to the stand at Leyton Orient on Saturday, revealed they have shaken hands since to settle their differences.
He said: “I’ve seen Stephen at a couple of games on our travels and everything’s fine. We’ve been watching and trying to get the same players at Premier League reserve games.
“I’ve seen quite a few of Coven-try’s games, going down there on Sundays, and it’s strange.
“It’s hard to explain. They have got this fantastic stadium but they play down at Northampton.
“In fairness, they have just got on with it.
“They’ve had a tough spell when they sold Leon Clarke and Callum Wilson got injured but they haven’t really moaned and kept churning out results.
“Sometimes in adversity it can galvanise a squad. I think that’s what they did, certainly at the start of the season, with an ‘us against the world’ scenario, although it helped that they had two of the best strikers in the division.”
Jon Stead was one that Pressley was close to signing in the January transfer window. Instead, he will line up for his second game in City colours.
The on-loan Huddersfield striker said: “They were trying to take me on loan and it would have appealed to me.
“But I’ve got a new baby and my second coming in three or four weeks so it wasn’t a time for me to be spending most of the week away from home. That was the only reason I didn’t take it.
“But coming to Bradford ticks all the boxes at this stage of my career. It's somewhere I feel I can flourish.”
With morale high after sinking the high-flying O’s, Parkinson wants to see the same conviction from City at a three-quarters empty Sixfields.
Like the Bantams, Coventry are eight points clear of the drop zone now after winning two on the trot.
Parkinson added: “I saw them beat Stevenage and then they followed that up at Crewe. But we go down there full of confidence after Saturday so both teams will be in good spirits.
“We’ve had a good result and have to follow that up with another big performance. There’s a lot of pride in this group of players and staff.
“We’ve taken a massive leap forward and I don’t want to take one back now. The performance level has got to be the same.”
Adam Drury’s injury is not thought to be too serious but he definitely sits out tonight’s game.
Matthew Bates could get the nod over Carl McHugh for the left-back vacancy with his extra pace.
Parkinson praised the way wingers Adam Reach and Kyle Bennett supplemented their attacking duties by helping out the defence against Orient.
With Coventry’s wing-back set-up, they are likely to be called upon to do the same again.
The City boss said: “When you’re a northern team going to London and come away from the club in third with three points, then it’s obviously a great lift for everybody.
“It was a win we needed and I thought we deserved it. As a team, and not just the back four, we defended really well.
“I have to say that Reachy and Benno gave great protection to the full backs. Wide players are judged on their discipline away from home and that was a good test.
“We had a bad couple of games but we bounced back from that really well at the weekend. It’s so important now that we go out there against Coventry and play like that again.”
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