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Phil Parkinson has put his stamp on Bantams
Phil Parkinson reaches his League Two anniversary this weekend with City in a much better place than a year ago.
The sixth league game of last season was his first as manager. As we reach the same stage, you can certainly see the squad is a lot stronger than it was 12 months earlier.
This is his team now and he’s been able to get rid of the players he wanted to in the summer and replaced them with his own choices.
Look at the calibre of the players he has brought in and they should be more than good enough for this division.
There’s no need to be shouting from the rooftops but we can all be quietly confident about things.
Phil is good about that. He’s not one for getting too excited and keeps things on an even keel, which is the best way to be.
You shouldn’t be as high as Everest after a victory or lower than a snake’s belly in defeat. Keep each result in proportion and that transmits to the players under him.
After the start City have had, they are only a point off the play-offs. With the squad he’s got, there’s no reason why they can’t be there or thereabouts.
That tells you what Phil thought of the squad he inherited. It wasn’t good enough and the league position last year proved that was the case.
Now you see names like Andrew Davies and Nathan Doyle, who have played at a higher level, and the improvement is obvious.
What I like is the solid back four. If you’ve got that as a base, there are plenty of players who can deliver at the other end, as we saw with Alan Connell’s goal at Accrington.
He had a good season last year with Swindon and has come in and bolstered the top line.
And you’ve got two wingers who will always be a threat. They are genuine wingers, too, not someone like Craig Fagan who played out there last season but wasn’t a natural wideman.
I’ve only seen the home games but the quality was there to suggest it’s going to be a very positive campaign.
With back-to-back victories at Valley Parade , if they can sort out the away form then there’s no reason why City cannot maintain it.
The fixture list wasn’t kind with the first two away games.
Gillingham will be up there and I think Rotherham will do it this year with the momentum of the new stadium and everything else.
But I wouldn’t worry too much about it because you look at the two cup wins. To get a result at Championship side Watford as well as Notts County, who are flying in their division, suggests they are more than capable.
City were terrific value in the home wins over Fleetwood and Wimbledon.
Come on, after the past few years, we’ve watched some right dross at Valley Parade but Parkinson looks to have got that right.
With two home games coming up now, I’m looking forward to seeing more of the same. With this squad, I believe there is every chance.
* John Hendrie, who is a consultant for LawBlacks.com, was talking to Simon Parker