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League One

Steve Parkin hails brave Bradford City

30 August 2014

Bradford assistant manager Steve Parkin hailed the Bantams' bravery after their 2-0 win against Rochdale at Spotland.

Second half goals from ex-Dale midfielder Jason Kennedy and striker James Hanson earned City the points, much to former Dale boss Parkin's delight.

"We knew it was going to be a difficult game," he said. "We've watched Rochdale a couple of times and all the reports were that they were a very good side, very energetic and settling into the league very well and in the first half it proved that way.

"I think they asked a lot of questions of us. Our whole back four were immense. Alan Sheehan was immense along with Rory McArdle and the two full backs who were instrumental.

"They're a very tenacious group and they're all brave. The defenders were in the right places at the right time. We said at half time that too many passes were going astray and the man on the ball didn't have enough options either.

"Goals change games and that happened here. I think we played with more fluency and we moved the ball quicker and better. The great support helped us get over the finish line."

In an opening half of few chances Rochdale's best opportunities fell to Matt Done. He had a shot deflected wide off Bantams defender Alan Sheehan and found the net in the 20th minute with an angled header only to see his effort ruled offside.

Bradford grew into the game and Hanson should have done better when he headed Filipe Morais' cross wide. Dale goalkeeper Conrad Logan made the only save of note in the opening 45 minutes, diving down to his right to keep out Kennedy's volley.

Jordan Pickford's first save came minutes into the second half when the Bradford stopper blocked Rhys Bennett's firm header.

But it was Bradford who made the breakthrough in the 60th minute, Kennedy controlling Hanson's knock down and firing a low volley past Logan.

It was 2-0 six minutes later when Hanson headed Sheehan's corner past Logan.

Dale boss Keith Hill was pleased with his side's display but insisted they needed to improve in tight games.

"It was a good game but the goals we conceded were soft, predictably so," he said.

"James Hanson is a very good player and if we had him in our side I would play right through him, just as they do. They do it very well and they are right to do it, they are an excellent side, very strong and they have probably learned a lot from last season.

"It was always going to be a massive test for us, but for 75 per cent of that game I was pleased with the way we coped.

"Scott Tanser and Ashley Eastham had done a great job against Hanson, but when the game is in the balance, when it has to be won, we have got to be better. That game was there for us - as it probably was for them.

"I can't be too hard on the players because I thought the performance was good, it's the result that has upset me."

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