BRADFORD CITY have clinched a memorable double with Phil Parkinson and Rory McArdle both celebrating winning monthly awards this morning.
Bantams’ manager Parkinson beat off competition from Swindon’s Mark Cooper, Scunthorpe chief Mark Robins and MK Dons boss Karl Robinson to be named as the League One manager of the month for December, in recognition of the club’s haul of 10 points in four games.
Meanwhile, defender McArdle is the division’s Player of the Month, winning the accolade ahead of strikers Tom Bradshaw and Andy Williams and goalkeeper Ben Garratt.
Hailing both his and McArdle’s award, Parkinson, who was last similarly feted in December 2011, said: “For us to both win something is good for the club and I am sure Rory would say the same that we know it is a team effort.
“We are the ones picking up the awards, but it is on behalf of the team and coaching staff.
“Rory has been terrific since he has been at the club and I am pleased for him to get it as it is not often defenders get awards as the strikers get the headlines.
“He is one of our key characters in the dressing room. In the past few years, we have had a core of players who are really good characters. He is one of those.
“We know the supporters appreciate Rory’s honesty and commitment since he has been at the club and that was why we were keen to secure his services with a new contract last summer.
“He is a good age for a centre-half and his best years are ahead of him, which is important.”
McArdle commented: “I am really chuffed. To be nominated was enough because defenders do not usually get awards.”
The good news week at Bradford continued yesterday, with Huddersfield striker Jon Stead returning on loan for the rest of the season – ending his Town career as his deal with them will not be renewed in the summer.
Stead’s return follows the permanent signing of Filipe Morais and Ben Williams agreeing a short-term deal, with Parkinson also confident that no players will leave the club this month.
Parkinson, whose side are 10 games unbeaten, said: “No one will be going as far as I am concerned.
“Our aim is to at least keep the strength of the squad as it is and we want to keep everyone together as we have a good spirit in the camp.”
On the re-signing of Stead, the Bantams’ manager added: “It was high on our list to get Jon signed up.
“Not only has Jon played well himself, but he has affected others in the squad and that has been very important.”