In the War of the Roses you could imagine proud Tyke, Jon Parkin, leading the line in battle but, for the Barnsley-born striker, today's Yorkshire-Lancashire match between Fleetwood Town and Bradford
By David Mitchell
In the War of the Roses you could imagine proud Tyke, Jon Parkin, leading the line in battle but, for the Barnsley-born striker, today's Yorkshire-Lancashire match between Fleetwood Town and Bradford City sees the 31-year old looking for a place in the Red Rose line-up.
Parkin returned to action to add the final touch in the impressive 3-0 defeat of Oxford last week. With an assist from centre-back and skipper, Rob Atkinson, he slotted the 100th league goal of his career in front of the Memorial Stand. It was a welcome return after a frustrating few weeks:
'Yes, it was nice to be back. The goal was a bonus but getting the three points was the main thing. I thought we played really well after a disappointing performance the week before.'
A hamstring injury against Rotherham United on 6 November kept the striker out for twelve consecutive games:
'No player likes to be injured but it's even more frustrating when you are out for longer than expected. I worked hard and thought I'd got myself into place for a return but then was knocked back again. Now I'm on the pitch again I need to work on getting my pace back. Two months is a long time out and I have to build up again.'
Parkin is well-aware of Bradford City's place in the world of football:
'Bradford's a massive club. They can get crowds of ten thousand and their progress on the cups this season has raised their profile even more. They've definitely got a lot to play for with their league position as well as the League Cup. Saying that, we know that if we perform we can get the result. It was a close game at their place. Bally hit the bar at 0-0 and if we'd taken the lead at that point it could have been a different result.'
Having taken a lot of stick from team-mates whilst refereeing a practice match between two teams made up of Town players just before his return, Parkin will be glad to get back to what he does best and is anxious to extend a run of games which shows a return of seven goals from fourteen appearances so far for his new club.