BRADFORD CITY assistant manager Steve Parkin credited hard work on the training ground for Tuesday night’s victory against Blackpool.
The Bantams beat Neil McDonald’s side 1-0, James Hanson scoring the only goal of the game from a corner kick, one of the few moments of quality in a scrappy encounter.
Hanson rose highest to meet Tony McMahon’s excellent in-swinging delivery, heading the ball past a massed Tangerine backline.
That was little surprise for Parkin, who has worked with the players on their set pieces. City had struggled at the start of the campaign from dead ball situations, something the coaching staff were keen to turn around.
Parkin said: “We were unhappy at the start of the season, as we were under par with our set play ratio of scoring. We addressed that, had a big meeting with the lads, and in the last two or three weeks it’s paid off; we’ve looked like a real threat from set pieces.
“The consistency of Tony McMahon’s delivery is excellent.
“It was a case of going through the videos and seeing where we were running and where we should be. It was just tweaking it a little bit, sticking to your run and being committed in the last two or three yards.”
That was only one aspect of a display characterised by defensive tenacity, something Parkin was also keen to highlight.
He added: “We work really hard to keep clean sheets in this club, and that’s what we achieved. I think we deserved to win, in the context of the game.
“I thought we showed a lot of professionalism and a lot of grown-upness to see it through, and maybe in the early part of the season that was not happening.
“We work hard with the defenders, both as individuals and as a unit. There’s a real unity about us, including the goalkeepers.
“You can’t get anywhere and be successful by shipping goals. “There’s proof: we’ve started climbing the league now that we’ve started keeping clean sheets.”