Parkinson: We had to stop whitewash

Simon Stone

BRADFORD manager Phil Parkinson admitted he feared a second-half massacre in the League Cup final at Wembley yesterday.

The Bantams were already three goals down to Swansea when goalkeeper Matt Duke brought Jonathan de Guzman down in the box less than an hour into the contest.

Referee Kevin Friend immediately brandished the red card, and when De Guzman netted the spot-kick, Bradford were four down and staring at humiliation.

In the end, they survived further punishment until stoppage time, when De Guzman netted his second.

"It was damage limitation after the red card," said Parkinson.

"We had to make sure they didn't score seven or eight, which could have happened quite easily. The players deserve great credit to go 30 minutes with 10 men against a team of that quality and only concede right at the death."

After such a thrilling run to the final, during which they accounted for three Premier League scalps, plus Championship promotion chasers Watford, Bradford found Swansea far too good.

Parkinson was aware the game was up before Duke's dismissal.

"The referee could have used his common sense in the context of the game," he said.

"We were 3-0 down against a Premier League team and a penalty had just been awarded against us. I don't think we were going to come back to win 5-4.

"He could have used a bit of discretion and just given Matt a yellow card."

But Parkinson insisted his players had nothing to reproach themselves for. "The lads are a bit down in the dressing room because we are a better team than we showed but Swansea's all-round movement was very difficult for us to cope with on a big Wembley pitch."