Bantams respond to Parkinson’s demands for more cohesion

BRADFORD City centre-half Rory McArdle says that a clear-the-air meeting held ahead of Saturday’s derby at Barnsley reaped dividends for the Valley Parade outfit.

A much-improved performance from Bradford, who were booed off the pitch after an abject 2-1 home reverse to Gillingham seven days ago, earned Phil Parkinson’s side a hard-fought point at Oakwell and McArdle believes it can provide a springbaord after a slow start to the campaign.

City players were forced to watch video footage of the loss to the Gills on Thursday with a meeting also held into the debilitating loss, and Parkinson got the response he required at the weekend.

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McArdle said: “We had a point to prove. As was said in the meeting, it was good to say it now and get it out of the way early and nip it in the bud.

“People can see that we weren’t closing down properly or putting ourselves on the line. But the meeting cleared the air and I think it worked.”

McArdle lined up alongside his fourth central defensive partnership of the season on Saturday in loan debutant Reece Burke and was full of praise for the West Ham teenager’s’ display in helping to secure a first clean sheet of the season.

McArdle said: “Credit to Reece, he came in and I thought he was brilliant.

“You forget he’s only 18 – I wish I was still that age.

“It shows the quality he’s got. I know he played a few games in the Premier League last year.

“He came in on Thursday and got his head down and settled right in.

“Hopefully I can help him a little bit.”