Bantams boss hails Swans' classy touch
PHIL Parkinson paid tribute to the "class" of Swansea City after watching his Bradford City side get thumped in the Capital One Cup final.
The Bantams boss admitted his mid-table League Two outfit could not live with Swansea's quality on the ball.
And he saluted Michael Laudrup's men for a lovely touch after the final whistle.
After Bradford's players collected runners-up medals, they were given a guard of honour by Laudrup's squad.
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"I thought the Swansea players clapping my players when we come down with our medals was a real touch of class from everyone concerned with Swansea," Parkinson said.
"Swansea have done a great job. I am sure they will have a good party after this and I wish them all the best because they are a great club."
Bradford had eliminated Wigan, Arsenal and Aston Villa en route to the League Cup final — as well as Championship high-flyers Watford — but they were no match for Swansea yesterday.
Laudrup's side played with style and quality on the ball — and Bradford simply could not cope.
"I am disappointed that we couldn't make more of a game of it for our supporters," Parkinson added.
"But you could see after 15 minutes that it was going to be a tough afternoon against a very, very good side.
"What Swansea did to us, they have done to a lot of Premier League sides this season.
"I spoke to a number of Premier League managers about them and they all told me the same thing — that they have very few weaknesses.
"There are things we could have done better, obviously, but it was a big ask to play against a team with such great players.
"There is great balance in the Swansea team. They keep the ball and they have forwards with pace who can run in behind you.
"They have a lot of threats, a lot of clever players, and their movement was very difficult for us to cope with.
"But you guys all know it — one Swansea player's wages would probably cover our budget for the whole season, and that's what we are dealing with.
"We could have played a bit better, but my players have conducted themselves in outstanding fashion throughout this run and I don't want to criticise them at all."
Having stayed in London last night, Bradford will return to training tomorrow and attempt to pick themselves up for a rather less glamorous game against Dagenham & Redbridge in League Two on Wednesday night.
And Parkinson's job will be to try to rouse his team for what he hopes will be a late push for the play-offs.
"We wanted to get to half-time at 1-0 and then have a chance to change things round a bit, but unfortunately we conceded just before the break," Parkinson said.
"We asked the players to play a bit further up the pitch in the second half, but then we conceded again straightaway.
"It was very difficult after that, and the highlight for me was the way our supporters stayed with us right through until the end.
"I think they realise what an enormous achievement it was for a League Two club to beat three Premier League sides and get to a major final."
Parkinson felt referee Kevin Friend could have showed Matt Duke a yellow card rather than red after he brought down Jonathan de Guzman in the area.
"I think he could have used some common sense there — I don't think we're going to come back to win 5-4," he said.