Bradford City ready for Rover time as pre-season steps up

Phil Parkinson has singled out goal machine Jordan Rhodes as Blackburn's main threat

Phil Parkinson has singled out goal machine Jordan Rhodes as Blackburn's main threat

First published in Sport
Last updated

PHIL Parkinson believes City are ready for the jump in class when Blackburn visit Valley Parade tomorrow.

After facing lower-level opposition so far, the Bantams step it up against the Championship side in the first home game of pre-season.

Gary Bowyer’s side, who drew 2-2 against Accrington on Wednesday, will offer a much stiffer test than they have come up against in Ireland and at Guiseley.

Parkinson said: “By 5pm tomorrow we will know where we are physically. Playing a team from the Championship is obviously a big jump in standard.

“We’ve had another good week in training and it will be good to pitch ourselves, physically and technically, against a team from a higher division.”

City loaded the team with trialists at Ossett on Tuesday but Parkinson will field his strongest line-up.

Aaron Mclean is still missing because of a calf problem but fellow strikers Oliver McBurnie and Lewis Clarkson will be included.

Loan keeper Jordan Pickford is set to make his first appearance in City colours. He has been training with the club but did play half an hour for parent club Sunderland in their friendly at Hartlepool on Wednesday.

Parkinson added: “We agreed Jordan could do that because he needed some competitive game time. I went up to watch that but he didn’t have much to do.

“Mclean is getting closer but he’s not ready yet but everyone else is fine.

“Blackburn had a decent finish to last season and are one of the teams who will be looking to be up there this time. But then every club has hopes and aspirations at this stage.

“They have plenty of quality in their squad and Jordan Rhodes is one of the key players. We know all about him and his goals record speaks for itself.

“It’s going to be a challenge for us. But it will be good to play at home again, especially for the new lads getting out there for the first time.”

Former Doncaster targetman Chris Brown will make his Blackburn debut. Rudy Gestede and Tommy Spurr are also expected to play for the first time in pre-season.

Bowyer said: “I see all three of them featuring so we’re looking forward to that.

“It will be good to get used to playing with a big man again, whether it be Browny or Rudy, and that gives us the flexibility to play with another style.

“It should be another good game against Bradford. It’s all been planned to where we start and where we finish and we finish pre-season at home to Stoke City, a Premiership side.

“We know we’ve got to keep on improving but everything is going nicely at the moment and over the next couple of weeks we’ll step it up even more.”

With a fortnight left before City’s opener against Coventry, Parkinson is still casting an eye over the club’s trialist contingent – six more were involved against Ossett.

“We’ve still got a few in and we’re just having a look,” said the Bantams chief. "We’re trying to get a game sorted for next Tuesday, in-house if necessary, and then I’ll make a decision.”

The JCT600 stand lower section will be open tomorrow on an unreserved basis.

Comments (2)

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10:27am Fri 25 Jul 14

Peter300 says...

The message from 91 of the 92 clubs is that everything is going fine - a familiar pre-season theme. However, in each division a club will finish top and one will finish bottom. Any clues from the usual summer optimism? I say 91 clubs, because Backpool are a club, until at least very recently, had only eight players and had to cancel a pre-season friendly. Phil Parkinson obviously sounded people out when the Seasiders came calling. As Phil said diplomatically at the time, the chairman does things a little bit differently at that club - or something similar.
The message from 91 of the 92 clubs is that everything is going fine - a familiar pre-season theme. However, in each division a club will finish top and one will finish bottom. Any clues from the usual summer optimism? I say 91 clubs, because Backpool are a club, until at least very recently, had only eight players and had to cancel a pre-season friendly. Phil Parkinson obviously sounded people out when the Seasiders came calling. As Phil said diplomatically at the time, the chairman does things a little bit differently at that club - or something similar. Peter300
  • Score: -2

10:30am Fri 25 Jul 14

Peter300 says...

Will the guy behind Jordan Rhodes be playing tomorrow? He looks a little bit mental.
Will the guy behind Jordan Rhodes be playing tomorrow? He looks a little bit mental. Peter300
  • Score: 1

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