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Sunday, 29 April, 2001, 12:24 GMT 13:24 UK
Jefferies upbeat in defeat
Bradford City manager Jim Jefferies
Time's up: Jefferies in sombre mood at Goodison
Bradford boss Jim Jefferies was left to lament two missed penalties against Everton which condemned his side to relegation.

The Bantams had looked doomed for some time, but Saturday's 2-1 loss at Goodison Park finally sealed their fate.

Jefferies admitted: "We blew it big time with those penalty misses."

The first, taken by Robbie Blake, was brilliantly saved by Paul Gerrard, and the second was blazed embarrasingly over the crossbar by Benito Carbone.

Despite slipping out of the Premiership trap door, Jefferies believes Bradford can bounce back into the top flight.

"We are moving in the right direction even if we have gone down. A lot of players have gone and the ones left are a great squad to work with.

"There is good spirit and we have got the type of people who are playing for each other.


"We will need a few more in the summer, to strengthen the squad in depth, particularly at the back and up front.

"But we have showed that we are capable of handling the challenge to come and we can get straight back up."

He added: "The club wasn't in a good position when I arrived during the season and things take time to change. This was never a quick fix but a big task."

Everton's win confirmed their Premiership status for another season, and Gerrard had particular cause for relief.

Everton's Paul Gerrard after conceding a 40-yard free kick against Liverpool
Despair: Gerrard after McAllister's derby strike

The goalkeeper was criticised for allowing Liverpool's Gary McAllister to score from 40 yards in the dying seconds of the recent Merseyside derby.

The goal gave the Reds an unlikely win and threatened to do massive damage to Everton's survival hopes.

But after his penalty save, Gerrard said: "On a personal basis I'm obviously delighted the way things have turned out.

"I took a lot of flak over the way the winner went in for Liverpool in the derby.

"But I have bounced back and that's what you have to do. One week you are up and another down."

Gerrard added: "Everyone is just glad and relieved. This was a crucial game for us.

I am just glad that we won't be involved in the dogfight in the last two weekends of the season
  Walter Smith

"We were all just drained at the end. Everybody had put so much into the game, people were just happy we'd got the right result."

Everton boss Walter Smith was full of praise for Gerrard.

"Considering the stick that Paul had to take after the Liverpool defeat, I'm more than pleased that he came up with that penalty save.

"And it was at the key moment of the game.

"We'd just equalised and the last thing we wanted was for Bradford to regain the lead so quickly. It was a great save."

Smith claimed achieving Premiership safety was just reward after Everton's injury hit campaign.

"If you look at all the other sides down at the bottom, I doubt that any have had the sort of problems we have had to contend with."

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16 Apr 01 |  Eng Prem
Reds leave it late for derby win
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