JP Trophy fallout: Wilson and Saunders disappointed, Parkinson delighted

Dean Saunders' Doncaster are out of the JP Trophy
Dean Saunders' Doncaster are out of the JP Trophy
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Bradford City are the last remaining Yorkshire club in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy after both Sheffield United and Doncaster Rovers were knocked out on penalties.

After his side booked their place in the northern area semi-finals with a 2-0 win over Port Vale, Bradford manager Phil Parkinson said: “I thought the lads were excellent tonight.

“Vale are a good side and they put out a strong team tonight but I thought the lads worked really hard and deserved their victory.

“As I’ve said before, the lads want to win every game they can and I think that desire showed through tonight (Tuesday).

“I think to win tonight after making changes again shows the tremendous spirit and character within our squad at the moment.

“All of the players want to do well, they want to do well for each other and they want their team-mates to do well also.

“The competition doesn’t kick in again until into the new year so we can put it to bed for a bit, concentrate on our league fixtures coming up through the Christmas period, and then go again in the new year when there are less midweek fixtures scheduled.”

Sheffield United lost to Coventry City on penalties after drawing 1-1 in 90 minutes, leaving Wilson to lament: “I am disappointed in the manner of the defeat; we seem to get a mental block when it comes to a penalty shootout.

“The second half performance was very encouraging, though, and we take heart from being able to give of the young lads the experience of playing against a strong Coventry side.

“After our goal we perhaps had the momentum to go and snatch the game but, to be fair, there wasn’t a great deal between the two sides.

“We are disappointed to be eliminated; of course we are, because I thought this was a real opportunity to progress further. Saying that our priority remains the league, but aside from the FA Cup we can now solely focus on that.

“We knew this would be a real test for us, but at the same time we had confidence in the lads coming into our side.

“Both teams cancelled each other out for much of the game and chances were certainly at a premium. The goal we conceded was very unfortunate to say the least, it gave them a lift but we made a couple of changes and that brightened us up, going forward.”

Doncaster Rovers also lost on penalities at Crewe, making is two Cup competitions in four days that they have been knocked out of.

Rovers boss Dean Saunders said: “We played really well considering we had players missing.

“I know the rules are rules and we have to abide by them, but I’ve had to put players out there tonight that weren’t fit, to ensure that the club don’t get fined.

“I tried to get the game called off yesterday because we didn’t have enough players to field a team but I have to say the players were absolutely magnificent.

“We played really well but missed too many chances, but that’s understandable because of the people we had out there.

“We have had a virus running through the camp, which has made it difficult because I couldn’t name the team until we got to the ground.

“We hadn’t been through anything with the players and we hadn’t gone through the tactics - I’ve put a patched up team out there tonight and they’ve done brilliantly.

“Josh [Meade], Harry [Middleton] and Evan [Finnegan] who have only trained with us a couple of times and Wakey [Liam Wakefield], who played centre back all did really well. We played some great football and I’m sure that the fans that came from Doncaster, on a night like this, have gone home pretty excited about some of the young players that we have got coming through.”