One eye on the FA Cup?

Events on Saturday afternoon may concern some City fans after Phil Parkinson’s side appeared to have one eye on their FA Cup tie with Brentford next week, rather than focussing on all three points during our 3-3 draw with Bristol Rovers. Fans travelled a long way for the game and were rightly concerned by our lack of defensive initiative as Rovers took the lead in just the second minute. It appeared the only times we really took the game into our own hands were when we fell behind: Nahki Wells, Carl McHugh and James Hanson all netting to bring the scores level at some point in the game.

And, although Parkinson is right to be pleased that we scored three away from home, our defensive performance is hardly likely to inspire confidence ahead of Brentford’s arrival. Parkinson will be disappointed we conceded the first from a corner while the gaping hole on the right that gave Bristol a second was alarmingly large. The confusion caused in our defence from a simple cross into the box for Bristol’s third is also a concern. A lack of goals is seen by many football tipsters as our main weakness, with a solid defence our strength.

The tables were turned spectacularly on Saturday, but a strong and lively offensive performance, even though it took a deficit to kick us into gear, gives us reasons to be positive heading into the FA Cup this Friday. Maybe the players did have one eye on the Cup tie, which is justifiable considering the rewards for a third-round berth can bring. Bantams fans are already anticipating Arsenal’s visit for the League Cup next week and with the FA Cup third round coming up, another big-name clash at Valley Parade may be on the cards. Though with Brentford battling away at the top of League One, they will go into the game as favourites in the FA Cup betting. So we should not be too downhearted with our point to lowly Bristol. They may be in the League Two relegation scrap but are a plucky side nonetheless and we should consider three goals away from home a great indicator of things to come against Brentford.

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