Drop your guard and you’ll drop points in this league, says Bantams boss (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Drop your guard and you’ll drop points in this league, says Bantams boss Phil Parkinson
Phil Parkinson insists City’s thrashing at Rotherham spelled out just how unforgiving League Two will be.
The squad face a video session in training this week to remind them exactly where they fell apart in Saturday’s one-sided Yorkshire derby.
Parkinson’s side face another away trip next at Accrington, who have won three of their first four games, and the City chief wants to make sure there is no repeat of the lackadaisical display from the New York Stadium.
Parkinson felt the 4-0 loss to the bookies’ favourites – coming on the back of three straight wins – underlined the size of the task if they are going to mount a much-anticipated promotion challenge.
He said: “It’s a very competitive division, more so than ever this year. We’ve got a decent side and a decent squad but what is clearly evident already is that no team is much better than anyone else.
“There is no club that stands out. If you drop down ten per cent and the other team are on their game, you will get beaten.
“It’s not like you’re Manchester City and can afford to be below that level and still have that quality to fall back on. Their star players will still produce something even when the team are not playing well.
“We’ve had three really good games leading up to this one and it was a real wake-up call. But if you aren’t right at the races in all departments, you won’t win a football game.”
Parkinson will not be too harsh on his players for one bad day, given their previous form against Fleetwood, Wimbledon and Watford in the Capital One Cup. But there were too many areas where City came up short in the Yorkshire derby – errors that will be illustrated on the TV screen.
He added: “I’ve had to watch the video and I’ll make sure they see exactly where we did things wrong. The video doesn’t lie.
“They were great strikes from Rotherham but equally we’ve got to be better than that.
“Look at the previous three games, Fleetwood in particular, and the way we went about our jobs in terms of taking responsibility on the pitch was top class. But we didn’t get anywhere near those standards.”
Parkinson’s claims about the tight nature of the division are backed up by Accrington’s last two results, a stunning 3-0 win at last season’s play-off finalists Cheltenham on Saturday having lost by the same score at home to Exeter a week earlier.
He said: “We know it’s going to be tough again because Accrington is a really difficult place to go. I’m concentrating on making sure we are properly prepared to produce a performance of discipline and character.”