Phil Parkinson defended City against accusations of playing “dark-age football” after a dramatic draw with Coventry.

Nahki Wells completed his hat-trick from the penalty spot to salvage a last-gasp point against League One’s great entertainers in front of the TV cameras.

Parkinson then hit back at a jibe from Coventry boss Steven Pressley criticising City’s style of play.

The managers were involved in a heated dispute after the final whistle and Pressley said: “It’s not easy playing against long-ball football; dark-age football. It was very difficult but that’s how they play.”

But Parkinson responded: “That’s an amazing comment from someone who has just arrived in English football.

“We play with a balance and I felt we got that right in the first half, passing the ball well and getting it out wide and delivering crosses.

“There were times in the second half when we could have got that extra pass in the midfield when there was more space to play in. We didn’t and we’ve said that to the boys.

“But he’s obviously not watched our progress over the last 18 months.

“It was a great game and a feisty old affair on and off the pitch. The crowd must have got their money’s worth.

“Tempers were running high. He (Pressley) came into our box in the first half to have a go at us and we had a few words.”

Parkinson was unhappy with the slack defending that allowed Coventry to surge into an early two-goal lead.

City recovered to draw level and then responded again to a half-time deficit with the spot-kick in the last minute of stoppage-time.

The City boss said: “Individual mistakes cost us and that’s disappointing. Coventry are a good side on a great run and their confidence is high, so to give them a two-goal start made it very difficult.

“After getting beaten at Rotherham with a very poor performance, to find ourselves 2-0 down so quickly on live TV is probably as big a test of character as they come.

“So I thought we played terrifically well if you take all those circumstances into account.”

Wells lifted his season’s goal haul to 12 with the second hat-trick of his City career. It ended a two-month wait after being sidelined with an ankle ligament injury.

Parkinson said: “Sometimes when you miss football, you can get a bit of rustiness in your game – especially when you’re a player like Nahki who relies on his sharpness.

“But he’s got it back. You could sense it in training this week and that performance is what Nahki Wells is all about – he was superb.

“Steven Pressley must be delighted he’s inherited those two strikers (Callum Wilson and Leon Clarke). The same as me, I was fortunate to inherit two good strikers in (James) Hanson and Nahki.

“When you’ve got players who can score goals, it can take the pressure off the rest of your side.

“Despite going 2-0 down and the way the game was going, I felt we’d score because we caused them problems.

“The wide players were doing what we wanted, attacking down the sides and getting crosses in, and I didn’t feel the Coventry back four could handle our front two at times.

“We can’t be happy with the goals we conceded, certainly the first two. We gave ourselves a lot to do against a good side.

“But in terms of the way we kept going, we’ve got to give this group of players so much credit.”