Phil Parkinson ditched City’s Christmas party but told the players: Nobody’s got a more exciting December than us.

Last night’s 1-1 Valley Parade stalemate with Brentford in the FA Cup second round means that the Bantams face a punishing week leading up to the festive period.

The Griffin Park replay on December 18 will be sandwiched between league visits to Southend and Wycombe – and meant the squad’s planned night out has bitten the dust.

Parkinson said: “The lads are disappointed because they were going to have their Christmas do after the Southend game and now that’s cancelled.

“I’ve asked them to put their kitty men in the staff Christmas do! But we might have to cancel ours now because that would be a bit unfair.

“But there’s a great spirit in the squad. We’ve had more games than anyone else and we’re used to playing midweeks.

“A few years ago I was out of work over Christmas and I really missed football. December’s great to be a footballer and great to be involved.

“I don’t think any club anywhere has as exciting a month ahead of them as we have. We’re looking forward to it and we’ve got players coming back as well.”

James Hanson’s seventh goal of the season cancelled out Clayton Donaldson’s opener for the League One visitors. The striker missed another chance soon after and top scorer Nahki Wells hit the post.

Wells came off the bench in a triple substitution on the hour with Parkinson also throwing on Gary Jones and Will Atkinson.

He added: “The subs gave us that extra bit of quality.

“We set out to keep it tight early on, knowing that Brentford are a very good side. I fancy them to go up this year.

“We had the plan B of the three subs hopefully to win it for us. But we were behind and had to get two goals – and nearly did.

Hanson and Nahki had two really good chances and on another day, one of those goes in and we’re talking about a really good victory.”

Parkinson was impressed with raw recruits Blair Turgott and Curtis Good. The teenagers, both signed ahead of the loan deadline last week, were handed senior debuts and the City chief felt they stood up to the test.

“The two lads who have come in on loan have played really well. You’re never quite sure because they are under-21 and untried at this level but I thought they were excellent.

“I’ve got to reiterate it was very difficult out there with the conditions and both played well. That’s a bonus for us because we’ve got two additional players we know can handle the level.

“The board have got to do everything they can to help me get the best out of these players. The preparation now before all these games is going to be so important.

“Nick Allamby, our sports scientist, is very important for us now and they’ve got to do everything he says to the letter.”