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Alan Connell equaliser stakes claim for Bradford City starting berth
Alan Connell believes his City equaliser can be the first goal of many – but has promised to bide his time for a proper chance.
Connell came off the bench to earn a point at Accrington, opening his scoring account in style with a sublime lob.
He had only been on the pitch for seven minutes – and strengthened his case for a full game against Barnet next weekend.
The former Swindon top scorer has started only once in the league so far. Even though Nahki Wells was ruled out with a hip injury, he was named a substitute again on Saturday as Phil Parkinson changed City’s formation.
But Connell, who spent most of last season in an impact role under Paulo Di Canio, insists he will abide by the manager’s wishes.
“Of course I want to play more minutes but it’s up to me to be playing well to do that,” he said.
“We changed shape and went one up front and the gaffer thought James Hanson suited that best. We’ve got a good squad and everybody accepts the decisions.
“You’ve got to respond in the right way and show how much you want to play. I’ll always do my best for the club whenever called upon and hopefully the goal was a nice reminder.”
Parkinson, who also ditched goalkeeper Matt Duke for Jon McLaughlin , admitted it has been tough for the players on the sidelines.
The City chief said: “We’ve got a few. Ross Hannah is unlucky not to have been in first-team action so far because his pre-season form was good and he was terrific in the two reserve games we’ve had.
“Thommo (Garry Thompson) ideally wants to play up front, challenging Hanson for that position, and it’s good to have that competition. You’ve got to let your football do the talking as Alan did.”
Connell, who had also netted for the reserves at Sheffield Wednesday in midweek, added: “We’re a few games into the season now so it was good to get that first goal.
“Most importantly, it was a goal that meant something to the team and helped get us a point.
“It was lovely to score in front of our fans. We had great support at Rotherham last week and we disappointed them.
“So to score like that, when there were so many there, was great and hopefully I can get many more this season.
“I scored a similar one for Grimsby a couple of years ago. It dropped to me nicely and as soon as it left my foot, I knew it was in.
“I thought we kicked on well after a dodgy spell just after half-time and looked like scoring a winner. Our fitness showed and was good at the end.”