Parkinson wants to make a statement

Bradford manager Phil Parkinson is hoping his side make a statement when they face Aston Villa in the Capital One Cup.

Last Updated: 07/01/13 at 16:53 Post Comment   

Phil Parkinson: Hoping Villa tie can help reawaken Bradford

Phil Parkinson: Hoping Villa tie can help reawaken Bradford

Bradford manager Phil Parkinson is hoping Tuesday night's Capital One Cup semi-final clash with Aston Villa will remind the nation that the West Yorkshire club are on their way back up.

The spotlight shone brightly on the Bantams during one of their finest hours last month when the 110-year-old npower League Two club stunned Arsenal in a thrilling penalty shoot-out triumph in the quarter-finals.

It has been a long 13 years since Bradford escaped relegation on the final day of the 1999/2000 season to survive a second campaign in the Premier League after a famous 1-0 home win over Liverpool.

The Bantams were relegated the following season and then followed a calamitous slide into administration (twice) and English football's basement division. From top to bottom in seven forgettable seasons.

But not only were mighty Arsenal conquered in the previous round, top-flight Wigan also succumbed to Parkinson's penalty shoot-out kings, while Gianfranco Zola's Watford were undone by two late goals at Vicarage Road in round two and the former Colchester, Hull and Charlton manager wants to give the whole city something to cheer again.

"That's really important for us," said Parkinson, 45. "It's a big club, a sleeping giant and we're trying to reawaken it.

"The win against Arsenal certainly reminded everybody that Bradford City is up and running and starting to get going again. Another really good performance tomorrow night would be great for the city again."

Parkinson, installed as Peter Jackson's permanent successor in the summer of 2011 and tasked by joint chairmen Julian Rhodes and Mark Lawn to get the club out of League Two, rebuilt the whole squad during the close season and, but for a 2-0 defeat at Barnet on Saturday would be sitting in a play-off position.

Bradford are still only three points off an automatic promotion spot and Parkinson added: "The lads have been good. Obviously we lost on Saturday, but it was a performance where the lads gave everything, they just couldn't put the ball in the back of the net.

"We had a lot of chances, so I couldn't say that our focus was distracted at any point.

"We would have loved to have come into this game with three points from Saturday, unfortunately we didn't, but we can't let that detract from tomorrow night, or change the way we approach it because I want the lads to enjoy it, relish it.

"We've won a lot of games, there's been a lot of extra times and we've overcome a lot of challenges to get to this point."

Parkinson's key word during Monday's press conference at the club's Apperley Bridge training facility was "enjoyment", while the previous round's heroics against Arsenal have given his players a belief they can spring another huge upset.

"We're very excited," said Parkinson. "We've worked really hard to get to this stage and we're going to enjoy it.

"It's a tremendous achievement by everybody at the club. It's the first time in the club's history to be at this stage of the competition.

"It's going to be a tough challenge, but our aim tomorrow is to get to the second leg in two weeks' time still in the game."

The Bradford manager accepts a two-legged tie favours Paul Lambert's Villa, but knows what it takes to beat Premier League opposition.

"We've just shown the lads some footage from the Arsenal game, to remind them of the discipline and the shape of the team and how well we worked as a unit in that game," he said.

"But also, when we won the ball back we played with a calmness and that's important because we know that if you keep giving Premier League teams the ball back, it becomes a long night.

"We've got to be up for the game, committed, we've got to use the crowd to take us on to another level, but also we've got to play with that composure and calmness in possession.

"The lads have shown that they can compete against the best teams, we also know we have to be right at our best and Aston Villa will have to be well below par for us to progress, but anything can be achieved and we've got a group of lads who are going to relish the challenge."


Click here for completely free £10 bet with Sky Bet & £5 free every week


Related News

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

may well get slated by other United fans for this, but out of the three contenders, I'd far prefer Liverpool to win the title. Yes some elements of their fanbase can be a bit OTT, yes they're our biggest rivals and yes it will make our poor season feel even more like the end of an era (Fergie's gone, Liverpool are back on top). However I just have to applaud Brendan Rodgers and the way he's turned Liverpool around in just a couple of seasons. It...

Mike_Christie
Please Stop Telling Us What To Think

H

ooray! We are all excited now, we beat a very mediocre team! With all due respect to WHU supporters, not winning that game shouldn't even be a consideration. This is the problem, there is no winning mentality at the Emirates - we're all congratulating ourselves beating a team that we have a winning record against.

TheWhiz
Wenger hails important win

I

s this meant to be an aspiration for United supporters? Moyes mediocrity strikes again. I see the Bayern boys don't want to sign for him, and his reputation amongst the senior European coaches make other key signings unlikely.

redbornandbred
De Gea's Europa League target

Footer 365

Neymar and Jordi Alba will miss the bulk of the remainder of the season

Barcelona forward Neymar has been ruled out for up to a month due to a left foot injury.

Transfer news: Southampton boss Mauricio Pochettino warns off Luke Shaw suitors

Mauricio Pochettino says in-demand defender Luke Shaw will be staying at Southampton.

Premier League: Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers targets win at Norwich

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes Sunderland's draw with Manchester City is a "warning sign" for his side.

Mail Box

Mignolet Is The Reason For Liverpool Flying

Mignolet's bad kicking is the reason for Liverpool's success, whilst one man keep notes on F365 mails. Plus England excitement, Arteta and a bad Walsall experience...

City: Bottle Jobs, A Laughing Stock...

There are some harsh words for Manchester City and Manuel Pellegrini in the Mailbox this morning, as well as some rather nicer ones for Tony Pulis and his magic hat...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property