Lawn: Semi is Bradford's final

Bradford's joint chairman Mark Lawn is preparing for some unbearable tension when his club face Aston Villa in the Capital One Cup semi-final second leg.

Last Updated: 22/01/13 at 08:47 Post Comment

Bradford City: Hope to finish the job at Aston Villa

Bradford City: Hope to finish the job at Aston Villa

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

The Bantams, who will defend a 3-1 first-leg lead, stand on the threshold of another historic victory, one game away from becoming the first club in the bottom tier of English football to reach Wembley in a major cup final.

Lawn's nerves have had plenty of practice since Phil Parkinson's League Two side embarked on the greatest giantkilling run in modern times, with famous victories over Wigan, Arsenal and Villa, but the 52-year-old is set for another rollercoaster ride of emotion.

"My heart says extra time and we win on penalties," he told Press Association Sport.

"I just know we're not going to do it the easy way, they'll put me through the wringer and I'm ready for it."

Rarely does a club from the lower divisions capture the country's imagination in a cup competition in the manner Bradford have done this season, and if Lawn's hunch proves correct and the tie does head for penalties, Parkinson's boys should not flinch.

They are already the shootout kings of British football, winning their ninth successive spot-kick showdown when defeating Arsenal 3-2 in the quarter-finals.

"It's been incredible," Lawn said. "You've got to look at where we've come from, where we are in the league. The effort has been amazing.

"The backroom staff and the cleaning ladies down at the training ground, I'd like to say a big thank you from the fans and the club.

"It's been beyond our wildest dreams. A very close friend of mine who sat next to me in the first leg said the return at Villa Park is our Wembley final.

"That's the way I'll be approaching it. My head says anything else is a bonus."

Bradford's only major honour was achieved back in 1911, when they beat Newcastle 1-0 in an FA Cup final replay at Old Trafford after a goalless draw at Crystal Palace.

Should the impossible be made possible at Villa Park tomorrow, it will be the club's second Wembley appearance in its 110-year history after Chris Kamara, more famous for his Sky Sports punditry, led them to an old Second Division play-off final win against Notts County in 1996.

Eager to keep it all in perspective, Lawn said: "That was the old Wembley. It would be the club's first trip to the new Wembley.

"It would also be the first time a club from the fourth division, or whatever you want to call it, have ever reached Wembley in a cup final.

"Rochdale got to the League Cup final back in 1962, they actually lost to Aston Villa, but the final then was played at home and away."

But for all the romance and the spotlight the club has enjoyed in recent weeks, Lawn concurs with his manager Parkinson's assertion that the season will end in disappointment if they do not win promotion in May.

"The cup run has definitely started something. Hopefully we can build on this because the most important thing is the league," he said.

The Bantams have lost their last two league games and have slipped out of the play-offs, but still remain just five points adrift of an automatic promotion spot with a game in hand.

"Phil won't let the season hang on this one match," Lawn said. "He's too sensible a manager.

"His man-management is first-class, the players know what this season is all about and I'm sure he won't let that happen."

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

Y

ou can't blame De Gea for wanting to leave, he has enough to do in front of goal as it is as well as taking on the role of Man Utd's version of Derek Acorah in trying to contact and organise a defence that isn't there.

rodger's gusset
Van Gaal downbeat on De Gea

I

f you want to take six points off Arsenal, then that's a great strike force. Can't imagine either of them showing much for the rest of the season though...

foot in mouth
Adebayor & Berbatov: You Have To Admire The Balls

L

ooks like Real get their man, most likely at their own valuation, yet again. Resistance is futile.

paul7702
Van Gaal downbeat on De Gea

Footer 365

Digne agent denies Liverpool talks

Lucas Digne's agent has denied reports he has held talks with Liverpool regarding a move to Anfield for the Paris Saint-Germain left-back.

Mourinho scuppered Reds' Costa move

A new biography has revealed how Jose Mourinho scuppered Liverpool's bid to sign Diego Costa - a year before he arrived in west London.

Ramos 'extends' Real Madrid contract

Manchester United's pursuit of Sergio Ramos is over after the centre-back agreed a new contract extension at Real Madrid.

Mail Box

De Gea Disrespectful? Remember RVP...

We got dozens of mails from people pointing and laughing at Brian D for suggesting David de Gea has acted disrespectfully; we printed some. And there's more...

Getting Tired Of De Gea's Disrespect

One Manchester United fan is growing weary of David de Gea's disrespect. Plus thoughts on Southampton's summer, Balotelli loan, and Depay in the centre. Why?

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company