Parkinson focus on play-off push

Phil Parkinson is ready to open talks over a new Bradford contract - but he also has a promotion campaign to plan for.

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Phil Parkinson: Keeping his focus

Phil Parkinson: Keeping his focus

The Bantams surprise appearance at Wembley might not have quite gone the way they imagined on Sunday as Parkinson's side were comprehensively outplayed by Swansea.

However, their run to the Capital One Cup final has put them back on the map after a decade in the doldrums.

Parkinson's work has also been noticed from afar, with the former Colchester chief opting not to take up an offer to open talks with Blackpool to fill the vacancy created when Michael Appleton left for Blackburn.

Bradford chairman Mark Lawn wants to agree an extension to Parkinson's current deal, which expires in the summer.

But one senses, with 15 games to go and his 11th-placed team now eight points off a play-off place and three games in hand on some of the teams above them, Parkinson wants minds focused back on normality.

"We just want to get the final out of the way but I am sure myself and the chairman will get together shortly," said Parkinson of his contractual situation.

"But we have 15 games left, which is a large chunk of the season, and I firmly believe we have a good enough squad to get on a really good run and will mount a challenge.

"We will take every game in a really positive frame of mind and see where it takes us."

The first of those matches comes against Dagenham and Redbridge at the Coral Windows Stadium on Wednesday.

Bradford will hope some of the 30,000 supporters who were at Wembley yesterday retain enough interest to swell an average gate of 10,043 for one of the least attractive fixtures of the campaign.

Yet even that average figure is way beyond anyone else in League Two, and is exceeded only by Sheffield United, Portsmouth and Coventry in League One, and even Peterborough in the Championship.

It underlines the potential that attracted Parkinson to Bradford in the first place.

And now debts have been cleared following a cup run that has banked approximately £1.5million, Parkinson can see a bright future ahead for the West Yorkshire outfit.

"The big picture for us is the revenue we have earned from this cup run that can strengthen the club for years to come," he said.

"The money we have earned is way above our wildest dreams.

"We never expected to get to the final so between the chairman and myself we have to make sure we use it wisely and build a strong structure.

"There is huge potential at Bradford. The way we have been backed in this cup run, the attendances we get in the league and the stadium we have.

"The club is ready to go forward but come Wednesday we will be ready for Dagenham and Redbridge."


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