Bradford City will be stronger for last-gasp defeat, says Gareth Evans

IT has been a good while since Bradford City have had to ‘roll with the punches’ after suffering a tough defeat.

Gareth Evans: Said players felt as though they had not maintained high standard. (Picture: George Wood/Getty Images)

That was the situation on Tuesday evening when City endured the sort of bitter denouement at Newport that was more commonplace earlier this campaign and in seasons gone by, rather than in recent times.

For experienced midfielder Gareth Evans there is perspective after the Bantams, reborn under Mark Trueman and Conor Sellars, suffered just a second loss in 16 matches under the duo, short-listed for the League Two manager-of-the-month award for February.

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City were undone by two goals from an old boy in the shape of Matt Dolan, who levelled with a controversial 77th-minute free-kick after the visitors had taken the lead early in the second half through Andy Cook.

Dolan provided an encore with the last kick of the game in the ‘96th minute’, netting from the penalty spot after Levi Sutton was penalised for handball.

The dressing room was a place of desolation after the game – with Trueman also very critical of the performance of referee Will Finnie.

But Evans believes it will provide motivation going forward for a group who have bonded terrifically over recent months.

He said: “You have got to roll with the punches and we move on to Saturday (at Carlisle).

“We must try and avoid the lads getting too downbeat and upset about it. I think the reason why the lads felt so dejected in the dressing room was because of the standards we have set so far since the gaffers have come into the job and perhaps we fell a little bit below them.

“But it is probably a positive that the lads are feeling so down because they felt feel like they are capable of winning every game at the moment. When they don’t, it is not a great feeling.”

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