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Video nasties help Bradford City make a point
Phil Parkinson admitted his first City point against Rotherham has eased the pain of their previous New York “no-shows”.
Parkinson had lost all six of his clashes with the Millers before last night, including two hefty defeats at their new home.
But his side finally stopped the rot with a battling goalless draw – a result which takes them up to 50 points.
Parkinson had used the video evidence from those previous beatings at the New York Stadium to formulate a game plan to frustrate Steve Evans’ promotion-chasers.
The Bantams boss said: “We’ve had a couple of tough days at Rotherham before. That’s why it was so important, not just in the context of the season but for our record there, that we put in a strong, disciplined performance.
“We had a plan and stuck to it from the first minute to the last. It was an excellent display.
“We hadn’t played well there before. It’s not as if we’d been unlucky, we’d gone there twice and produced two no-shows in all aspects of the game.
“Unfortunately I had to watch them back this week to remind myself and it was painful.
“The shape of the team really helped. Rotherham have got a lot of attacking threat and score plenty of goals. If you’re too open against them, you can get punished.”
Rotherham hit the post and Evans was furious that referee David Webb ignored their penalty appeal in stoppage time after the ball struck Gary Jones on the arm.
But Parkinson felt City had a strong shout of their own when Jon Stead was clattered in the head by keeper Adam Collin.
He said: “Steve Evans, as he normally does, jumped up and down saying they should have had a penalty. But I thought the keeper went into Jon in the box and I thought that was a pen.
“Steve was bemoaning his luck but I think that would have been very harsh. We could very well have had one at the other end.”
Aaron Mclean joined James Hanson on the sidelines to leave Stead in the lone striker role.
Parkinson said: “If you take two strikers out of any team, that’s going to affect you. From Liverpool at the top of the Premier League to the bottom of League Two, it’s difficult.”
Nathan Doyle came back after his groin injury and was used as the holding player of a three-man central midfield.
The system worked well to stifle League One’s top scorers – it was the first time Rotherham had failed to score for 12 home games.
Parkinson said: “We’ve looked vulnerable at times at home on the counter-attack ourselves and I thought the extra man in the middle of the park really helped us.
“Doyley was tremendous in that role. It suits him. He’s only trained a couple of days in the last three weeks but he was never one to shirk playing. I thought he was excellent.
“There was a solid feel about us. We toyed with what to do before Mclean got injured in training because we’d done well with 4-4-2 at Orient and Coventry.
“But we’d already worked on this system because I felt we had to have it in our locker at some point in the game.
“At times when teams are driving forward at you, having that player sat in front of the back four really helps.”
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