Parky: We did occasion justice

Date published: Saturday 25th April 2015 11:25

The 56 people who died in the Valley Parade fire disaster almost 30 years ago were remembered in the presence of England manager Roy Hodgson and Football Association chairman Greg Dyke.

Striker Jon Stead scored the only goal as the Bantams ended a run of five matches without a win with a 1-0 victory over their Yorkshire rivals in their final home game of the season, which began with a minute’s silence and the laying of wreaths by captains Stephen Darby and Martin Cranie.

Parkinson said: “It is the result I wanted. I am very pleased for many reasons – none more so than the poignancy of the day.

“Straightaway after our midweek game at Scunthorpe we had a chat with the players about our preparations for this game.

“A lot of them went to see a play about the Bradford fire this week. They understood how important it was for the the city of Bradford and the supporters to play as well as they could and do the day justice.

“There was added pressure on us today because we had to do the occasion justice. It was the last home game of the season and we wanted to send our supporters away with a smile on their faces.

“It was a solid hard-working, professional performance and that is just what we wanted against a good team.

“I want to give the lads credit. Barnsley flooded the midfield area with good technical players and I thought we coped well defensively.

“We also scored a goal with the pass of the day from Billy Knott. Billy is a great character, he has had a good first season for us and he will get better and better.”

Barnsley manager Lee Johnson, whose team have gone nine games without a win, said: “The Bradford fire was an horrendous tragedy.

“The players understood the significance of the occasion and I thought everyone dealt with it in a really good manner. Everyone came together and it is good for the young players to deal with whatever atmosphere there arises. That is how they learn.”

Johnson picked out Mason Holgate for special praise, adding: “He was exceptional from start to finish. We tried to play football on a difficult pitch.

“The criticism I had was that we played the ball back too much and that meant we couldn’t get numbers forward and be positive in their box.

“We could have won. We were well in the game and the lads kept going. There were some decent performances, but we thought we could have had a bit more quality in the final third.

“If we can finish in the top half of the table with a win in our final match that will be good.

“There are going to be changes in the summer and I am looking forward to it.”

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