PHIL Parkinson has challenged rookie Dylan Mottley-Henry to step up to City’s squad after their late loan bid for a winger was beaten by the clock.

The Bantams tried to push a deal through after Parkinson’s target became available less than an hour before yesterday’s tea-time deadline. But they were unable to get it done in time.

Parkinson, who did allow Matty Dolan to return to Hartlepool for a month, had ruled out trying for a youngster instead because he would rather let City youth-team flyer Mottley-Henry stake his claim.

The City boss believes the 17-year-old has enough to cope on the wing. New arrival Francois Zoko can also play out wide and Filipe Morais’ shoulder injury does not seem as bad as first feared.

Parkinson said: “We had a good look at it and a club came back to me late on with a player I had enquired about a couple of days ago.

“The manager decided at 4.20pm that we could take the experienced winger and we tried to get it through but it didn’t happen.

“But looking at the wide players who were available in general, I decided that unless it was going to be someone experienced we felt would improve the starting 11 then we wouldn’t go for any younger ones.

“I’ve always said when you are bringing in young forwards or wide players, they’ve got to be significantly better than our own youngsters. Otherwise it de-motivates our youth system.

“Young Dylan played really, really well in the reserves at Sheffield United on Tuesday. He’s also looked good when he has trained with the first team.

“It’s a chance now for him to keep doing well and to force his way on to the bench at some point.

“Filipe is also progressing well and has improved a lot over the last 24 hours.

“I think there are enough numbers in the squad and a good balance.”

Midfielder Dolan has rejoined Hartlepool, who have remained keen admirers since he went on loan there from Middlesbrough for the first half of last season. Parkinson is hoping he will see some regular action.

He said: “Matty’s got a good chance to get some games under his belt. It’s a good move for him and a terrific signing for Hartlepool.

“He’s been a bit unlucky because he started pre-season really well over in Ireland but then JK (Jason Kennedy) came in and that knocked him back a bit. Then he got injured as well.

“We’re well stocked in that area with Gary Liddle, Kennedy, Billy Knott and Andy Halliday and Matty needs to be playing. It’s important leading up to the Christmas period that he is involved regularly.”

Parkinson wants to see more of the same when City face Leyton Orient at Valley Parade tomorrow despite last week’s frustrating draw with Gillingham. The last-gasp equaliser knocked the gloss off a performance that “had a lot of pleasing aspects”.

“We’re working towards reproducing that and if we do, that will give us the best chance of getting the right result.”

The O’s were pipped by Rotherham in the play-off final last season after finishing third. But they have not been able to match that so far.

Parkinson added: “Kevin Lisbie and David Mooney were one of the best strike forces in the league last year.

“They’ve brought in some bigger name players but it hasn’t quite worked out for them in terms of overall results, even though they’ve probably got a stronger squad than they had.

“But they are coming off a good win over Crewe last week and we know it will be a hard game. It’s one where we are looking to give a good account of ourselves.”

Zoko was left off the bench for the Gillingham game after arriving from Blackpool that lunchtime. He has had a full week’s training with his new club since and played just over an hour against the Blades.

He said: “I’m very excited for the loan and really looking forward to my first game. Hopefully it will be a very good day for me.

“I was impressed with the crowd last week. I knew when I spoke to the manager that it would be very good here and I will work very hard for him.”