Double injury blow has rocked us but we will hit back, says Bantams striker Connell (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Yes we've wobbled since being struck by double injury blow but we will hit back, says Bantams striker Alan Connell
Alan Connell has insisted City can win without dynamic duo Kyel Reid and Gary Jones.
The pivotal pair are both off limits for the foreseeable future. Skipper Jones remains sidelined for at least the next few weeks while it is likely to be December before Reid is seen again after his thigh injury was revealed to be more serious than first thought.
With such a large proportion of their goals coming from Reid crosses or Jones set-plays, the double blow has hit the Bantams hard.
They have not won in the league without them.
Connell is adamant City have enough in the tank to reverse that trend but admits the rest of the team must quickly pick up the slack.
He said: “We have got a very good squad. The gaffer brought in enough players to cover for the likes of Jonah and Reidy.
“While they are obviously very important to us and we miss them, we’ve also got very good players to come in.
“There’s quality and depth in the squad and it’s up to those others to make the most of their opportunities.
“When someone’s injured, it’s down to the next man to step in and prove they are good enough. That’s the way the game is.
“We’ve got players who are champing at the bit to do well and stay in the side and that can only benefit everyone at the club.”
Connell got his chance against York last week as City persisted with using him as the withdrawn third striker. But having struggled to break the visitors down, Phil Parkinson switched back to 4-4-2 early in the second half.
With subs Zavon Hines and Garry Thompson inspiring the fightback out wide, it is likely Parkinson will stick with that tried and trusted formula for another home game tomorrow.
Connell is used to being in and out the side. At Swindon last year, he made more appearances as a sub than a starter and still finished the leading scorer.
He added: “Everyone wants to play regularly and get as many minutes as they can. I’m no different to that.
“It does help when you get a run of games but the most important thing is that you make the most of every chance, whether it be for ten minutes or the whole match.
“You only have to look round this squad to know that competition is going to be fierce, so you’ve got to be on your game all the time.
“But hopefully that sort of mentality can only benefit the players and more importantly the team to get a lot of points and be up there at the end of the season.”
Connell has confidence in Parkinson to make the right call. The well-travelled striker feels that players know exactly where they stand with the City boss – which was not always the case with Paulo Di Canio at Swindon.
“Last season he chopped and changed a lot. Even if you’d done well in a game, you could still find yourself out of the team the next week.
“It can be a bit unsettling but it’s not like that here at all.
“The manager here has shown that he has faith in players when they do well. You stay in the side.”