Survival still in our own hands, Parkinson tells his below-par Bradford City players (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Survival still in our own hands, Phil Parkinson tells his below-par Bradford City players
Phil Parkinson today picked up the pieces from City’s latest Valley Parade flop and reminded them: League One safety is still in our hands.
Saturday’s third loss in the last four home games has left them on the fringes of the fight for survival.
City remain in 12th spot but the 3-2 defeat to Oldham and wins for other teams at the foot of the table cut the gap once again to the bottom four to six points – although they do possess a vastly-superior goal difference.
But with play-off contenders Rotherham and Peterborough their next two opponents, Parkinson’s side are far from clear of danger.
Parkinson knew City could have secured survival with a win at the weekend but stressed that they only have to worry about themselves in the final five games.
And he still believes the team are capable of finishing in their position in the top half.
He said: “We’ve just got to take care of ourselves. It’s still very much in our hands. We’ve got a better goal difference than a lot of teams and we’ve got a six-point gap.
“We want to get some more points on the board irrespective of that. We want to finish in the top half of the table. There was a chance to put it to bed on Saturday but we didn’t take it.
“Every time we get a win, everyone keeps talking about next year and safety. I don’t because I know what can happen in football.
“Teams do get results when you don’t expect them, like when we won at Orient. That’s what has happened across the board.”
City’s collapsing form at Valley Parade has become a major concern. After two impressive away performances, they struggled to get going on home turf just like the recent Walsall game.
“There’s a bit of tentativeness in our play at home and we’ve got to get that confidence back,” said Parkinson.
“It was always going to be difficult when Oldham scored first. They had the extra man in midfield which gave them control of the game and we didn’t cope with that.
“We changed it just before half-time to put (Kyle) Bennett in there but for the second half I kept two up front. In hindsight, I should have tightened up midfield because we looked leggy.”
Parkinson admitted that City lacked energy against a relegation-battling side who are now only two points behind them.
He took the blame for keeping faith with the same players for three games in a week. Adam Drury’s return from injury at left back for Carl McHugh, who had been playing through a slight hip problem, was the only change.
The City boss said: “I’ve got to look at myself. I’ve asked the same players to go again and we didn’t look as though we had any sharpness.
“I picked the team and we haven’t performed as well as we can. We haven’t got a great deal of options but three games in seven days can be a big ask, especially when you’ve got some who aren’t used to playing back-to-back.
“We’d played well on our travels, particularly defensively, and looked as good as we had all season. But we were vulnerable on Saturday, which is unlike us.
“We were second best all over the pitch and I’ve got to make sure that doesn’t happen again.”
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