Now we can enjoy our big night against Arsenal, says Bradford City boss Phil Parkinson

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Alan Connell shows his delight after hitting the match-winning strike against Torquay Alan Connell shows his delight after hitting the match-winning strike against Torquay

Phil Parkinson watched City strengthen their position among the promotion front-runners and then declared: Bring on the Arsenal!

The Bantams will go into tomorrow’s Capital One Cup quarter-final with Arsene Wenger’s men in buoyant mood after beating ten-man Torquay 1-0.

Substitute Alan Connell struck a brilliant 85th-minute winner to finally end the visitors’ stubborn resistance and send City up to fourth.

Martin Ling’s side lost skipper Brian Saah to a red card in the 35th minute but they kept City at bay until Connell produced a superb strike within five minutes of his introduction.

Parkinson said: “There has been so much talk about the Arsenal game and from family members wanting tickets.

“But we’ve kept the lads focused really well and they’ve been outstanding. Now we can enjoy the Arsenal game – it’s going to be a great night for the club.

“It’s a reward for the players and staff and everyone who works so hard at the ground as well.

“We’re looking forward to it and we’ll certainly enjoy it so much more now that we got the three points.

“I think everybody in the country was looking at this game and thinking ‘it’ll be interesting to see how Bradford do with the Arsenal match looming’.

“It didn’t affect us and I didn’t really doubt that it would.”

Parkinson recalled eight first-choice players on Saturday and City were largely dominant throughout. They enjoyed a numerical advantage for 55 minutes after Saah was sent off for elbowing James Meredith off the ball before their patience was rewarded through Connell’s late strike.

Parkinson added: “It was a very good display but you wonder when the goal was going to come. But the lads were so patient and disciplined with the way they went about their job.

“We made positive substitutions to try and get the win and it came in the end.

“We said at half-time we had to keep passing it, stay patient and keep cool.

“I thought the crowd helped us because they understood what was going on and didn’t get frustrated that we hadn’t scored.

“They stayed right with us and I really felt they played their part.”

Torquay looked set to escape with a point after twice being saved by the woodwork and goalkeeper Michael Poke’s string of fine saves.

But Connell replaced Carl McHugh with five minutes remaining and hit a brilliant rising shot which flew into the top corner from 20 yards.

“Alan needed that,” said Parkinson, who reported no new injury concerns ahead of tomorrow’s clash.

“If you go back to Port Vale on Tuesday night he was absolutely tremendous.

“But strikers need to score and what a great finish that was.”

City’s appeal against being kicked out of the FA Cup will be heard today.

Meanwhile, the Bantams will travel to Crewe in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy northern semi-finals.

The tie will be played at Gresty Road in the week commencing January 7.

Comments (18)

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9:16am Mon 10 Dec 12

Harrogate Bantam says...

Have Arse-Nal ever won & the V P ?

C'mon City
Have Arse-Nal ever won & the V P ? C'mon City Harrogate Bantam

10:23am Mon 10 Dec 12

Peter300 says...

There were some ignorant loudmouths at the back of the Midland Road stand who did not understand what was going on during the game on Saturday. They just bawl out 'boot it forward'. Who are these people? They are hopeless!
There were some ignorant loudmouths at the back of the Midland Road stand who did not understand what was going on during the game on Saturday. They just bawl out 'boot it forward'. Who are these people? They are hopeless! Peter300

10:30am Mon 10 Dec 12

Thee Voice of Reason says...

Peter300 wrote:
There were some ignorant loudmouths at the back of the Midland Road stand who did not understand what was going on during the game on Saturday. They just bawl out 'boot it forward'. Who are these people? They are hopeless!
They sit behind me in the kop too.

Change it Parky, and get it forward why we passing it back were some of the shouts I heard.

We did all we could to score on Saturday and it took a top quality strike to get past that keeper who seemed to be playing out of his skin.

I thought we were very good on Saturday and we should have won by 3 or 4, but realistically it doesn't matter 3 points is 3 points. We have the best home record in the division and have conceeded only 6 goals in the league at home. What more are people wanting, this is a 10 fold improvement on anything in the last 15 years.
[quote][p][bold]Peter300[/bold] wrote: There were some ignorant loudmouths at the back of the Midland Road stand who did not understand what was going on during the game on Saturday. They just bawl out 'boot it forward'. Who are these people? They are hopeless![/p][/quote]They sit behind me in the kop too. Change it Parky, and get it forward why we passing it back were some of the shouts I heard. We did all we could to score on Saturday and it took a top quality strike to get past that keeper who seemed to be playing out of his skin. I thought we were very good on Saturday and we should have won by 3 or 4, but realistically it doesn't matter 3 points is 3 points. We have the best home record in the division and have conceeded only 6 goals in the league at home. What more are people wanting, this is a 10 fold improvement on anything in the last 15 years. Thee Voice of Reason

10:50am Mon 10 Dec 12

TBS says...

Quotes from the bbc website:
Bantams v Gunners
•Arsenal have not won at Valley Parade for 90 years
•The teams have never met in the League Cup
•In three FA Cup games, the home side has always won (Bradford once, Arsenal twice)
•The away team has failed to score in each of those previous cup games
•Bradford beat Arsenal 2-1 at home in their first season in the Premier League
•Arsenal won both Premier League games at Highbury 2-0.

Cannot wait for tomorrow! Up the city!!! Great performance at the weekend too.
Quotes from the bbc website: Bantams v Gunners •Arsenal have not won at Valley Parade for 90 years •The teams have never met in the League Cup •In three FA Cup games, the home side has always won (Bradford once, Arsenal twice) •The away team has failed to score in each of those previous cup games •Bradford beat Arsenal 2-1 at home in their first season in the Premier League •Arsenal won both Premier League games at Highbury 2-0. Cannot wait for tomorrow! Up the city!!! Great performance at the weekend too. TBS

11:00am Mon 10 Dec 12

bazzathetyke says...

Good Luck Bantams....I hope you are victorious...I look forward to watching Wenger throwing is toys and spitting his dummy...
Good Luck Bantams....I hope you are victorious...I look forward to watching Wenger throwing is toys and spitting his dummy... bazzathetyke

11:18am Mon 10 Dec 12

Thee Voice of Reason says...

I went to both games at Highbury back in the Premier League years. How those games only ended up 2-0 I will never know. That Arsenal side with Viera, Henry, Wiltord, Ljungberg, Pires, Kanu, etc was truely amazing.

We would win a corner and the pace of that side would have them bearing down on goal within seconds.

Away from home though Arsenal have been known to struggle. Only 4 wins in 12 away in league and cup this year.

Ok Ok,I'm grasping onto anything to help believe for tomorrow.
I went to both games at Highbury back in the Premier League years. How those games only ended up 2-0 I will never know. That Arsenal side with Viera, Henry, Wiltord, Ljungberg, Pires, Kanu, etc was truely amazing. We would win a corner and the pace of that side would have them bearing down on goal within seconds. Away from home though Arsenal have been known to struggle. Only 4 wins in 12 away in league and cup this year. Ok Ok,I'm grasping onto anything to help believe for tomorrow. Thee Voice of Reason

12:17pm Mon 10 Dec 12

total90 says...

Really looking forward to tomorrows game. It is as much a reward for all the supporters who kept the faith, bought the season tickets and cheered the team through some of the tough games this season. The Arsenal game is an opportunity for all supporters to reward the team for their tremendous efforts fighting to a man for the City cause. We could only have dreamt of the start that we have had to this season. I hope all those who did not back the team by bying season tickets etc. are made wellcome. THOSE SUPPORTERS WHO HAVE NOT BEEN ALL SEASON, i hope will help us who have, by cheering with all their might, helping us to reward this team and manager and all staff from chairman down. Show our players what lies in store for them as a reward for possible promotion. A massive atmosphere tomorrow will make life a lot easier for our manager to attract players to come and joinn our club in the future. A bouncing VP will bring a lot of supporters back without a doubt. Sing for as long as it takes, show the first division what is on it's way, the mighty bradford City!!
Really looking forward to tomorrows game. It is as much a reward for all the supporters who kept the faith, bought the season tickets and cheered the team through some of the tough games this season. The Arsenal game is an opportunity for all supporters to reward the team for their tremendous efforts fighting to a man for the City cause. We could only have dreamt of the start that we have had to this season. I hope all those who did not back the team by bying season tickets etc. are made wellcome. THOSE SUPPORTERS WHO HAVE NOT BEEN ALL SEASON, i hope will help us who have, by cheering with all their might, helping us to reward this team and manager and all staff from chairman down. Show our players what lies in store for them as a reward for possible promotion. A massive atmosphere tomorrow will make life a lot easier for our manager to attract players to come and joinn our club in the future. A bouncing VP will bring a lot of supporters back without a doubt. Sing for as long as it takes, show the first division what is on it's way, the mighty bradford City!! total90

12:17pm Mon 10 Dec 12

parkofl says...

Great to see the MIGHTY BANTAMS flying this season the outcome of Tuesday night doesn't matter either way climbing the league table with promotion its fantastic what is happening this season after years of gloom ONWARD AN UPWARD
Great to see the MIGHTY BANTAMS flying this season the outcome of Tuesday night doesn't matter either way climbing the league table with promotion its fantastic what is happening this season after years of gloom ONWARD AN UPWARD parkofl

12:33pm Mon 10 Dec 12

Harrogate Bantam says...

TBS wrote:
Quotes from the bbc website: Bantams v Gunners •Arsenal have not won at Valley Parade for 90 years •The teams have never met in the League Cup •In three FA Cup games, the home side has always won (Bradford once, Arsenal twice) •The away team has failed to score in each of those previous cup games •Bradford beat Arsenal 2-1 at home in their first season in the Premier League •Arsenal won both Premier League games at Highbury 2-0. Cannot wait for tomorrow! Up the city!!! Great performance at the weekend too.
Thanks TBS. I have a tad of confidence for tomorrow. Parkie has a squad who are all committed. So it’s irrelevant who plays. They will all be giving a 110%. I can remember the end of last season wondering where we will be, come December 2012. I did not imagine in my wildest dreams that we would have been fourth in the league and still in 2 or 3 Cups depending on the appeal. Bring the Arse-Nal match. C’mon City.
[quote][p][bold]TBS[/bold] wrote: Quotes from the bbc website: Bantams v Gunners •Arsenal have not won at Valley Parade for 90 years •The teams have never met in the League Cup •In three FA Cup games, the home side has always won (Bradford once, Arsenal twice) •The away team has failed to score in each of those previous cup games •Bradford beat Arsenal 2-1 at home in their first season in the Premier League •Arsenal won both Premier League games at Highbury 2-0. Cannot wait for tomorrow! Up the city!!! Great performance at the weekend too.[/p][/quote]Thanks TBS. I have a tad of confidence for tomorrow. Parkie has a squad who are all committed. So it’s irrelevant who plays. They will all be giving a 110%. I can remember the end of last season wondering where we will be, come December 2012. I did not imagine in my wildest dreams that we would have been fourth in the league and still in 2 or 3 Cups depending on the appeal. Bring the Arse-Nal match. C’mon City. Harrogate Bantam

12:42pm Mon 10 Dec 12

nowt fresh says...

parkofl wrote:
Great to see the MIGHTY BANTAMS flying this season the outcome of Tuesday night doesn't matter either way climbing the league table with promotion its fantastic what is happening this season after years of gloom ONWARD AN UPWARD
Agree parkofl winning promotion is the goal at the end of the season, as long as we put on a decent performance Tuesday night (baring in mine Arsenal are one of the better teams in Europe) for the viewing public be that those who attend the game or the thousands who watch it on Sky, the players will learn a lot from Tuesdays game win,lose, or draw ? and possibly the monies raised from the tie may allow us to bring a couple of players in for the final promotion push.
[quote][p][bold]parkofl[/bold] wrote: Great to see the MIGHTY BANTAMS flying this season the outcome of Tuesday night doesn't matter either way climbing the league table with promotion its fantastic what is happening this season after years of gloom ONWARD AN UPWARD[/p][/quote]Agree parkofl winning promotion is the goal at the end of the season, as long as we put on a decent performance Tuesday night (baring in mine Arsenal are one of the better teams in Europe) for the viewing public be that those who attend the game or the thousands who watch it on Sky, the players will learn a lot from Tuesdays game win,lose, or draw ? and possibly the monies raised from the tie may allow us to bring a couple of players in for the final promotion push. nowt fresh

1:01pm Mon 10 Dec 12

shoesmaker4 says...

good look city for a good result tommorow also remember that thay still have to get the ball past the keeper to score i also hope the players and suporters have a great day and that we can have a truley great result to you all deserve it come on city
good look city for a good result tommorow also remember that thay still have to get the ball past the keeper to score i also hope the players and suporters have a great day and that we can have a truley great result to you all deserve it come on city shoesmaker4

1:01pm Mon 10 Dec 12

shoesmaker4 says...

good look city for a good result tommorow also remember that thay still have to get the ball past the keeper to score i also hope the players and suporters have a great day and that we can have a truley great result to you all deserve it come on city
good look city for a good result tommorow also remember that thay still have to get the ball past the keeper to score i also hope the players and suporters have a great day and that we can have a truley great result to you all deserve it come on city shoesmaker4

1:09pm Mon 10 Dec 12

Bantam76 says...

The way the lads played on Saturday, from start to finish, they have absolutely nothing and no one to fear!

The huge crowd will be a massive boost too - an extra player! Can't wait to get in my seat!

Come on City - we can do this!! CTID
The way the lads played on Saturday, from start to finish, they have absolutely nothing and no one to fear! The huge crowd will be a massive boost too - an extra player! Can't wait to get in my seat! Come on City - we can do this!! CTID Bantam76

1:57pm Mon 10 Dec 12

bettyswollocks says...

I've just watched the youtube video of us beating Everton in 88 for the 428th time. The old place was rocking that night too.

I don't think I've ever been buzzing about a game a much as I am about this one. Nobody has to fear that the team will give anything less than 100%. The spirit and commitment of the whole squad is as good as it's ever been.

With a bit of luck, I can see us causing an upset. Whether we do or we don't, the pride I have for my team will not waver.
I've just watched the youtube video of us beating Everton in 88 for the 428th time. The old place was rocking that night too. I don't think I've ever been buzzing about a game a much as I am about this one. Nobody has to fear that the team will give anything less than 100%. The spirit and commitment of the whole squad is as good as it's ever been. With a bit of luck, I can see us causing an upset. Whether we do or we don't, the pride I have for my team will not waver. bettyswollocks

3:15pm Mon 10 Dec 12

Prisoner Cell Block A says...

Guess I'm a bit of an oddity, can't muster up too much enthusiasm for this one. Which is strange as I half expect us to do very well but there is just something around the whole feel of it from the time we drew them to now, the day before, I can't put my finger on it but I'm apathetic towards this match.

Anyway, I'm still dying for us to win it and I know by tomorrow tea time I will be flying.

2-1 City AET.
Guess I'm a bit of an oddity, can't muster up too much enthusiasm for this one. Which is strange as I half expect us to do very well but there is just something around the whole feel of it from the time we drew them to now, the day before, I can't put my finger on it but I'm apathetic towards this match. Anyway, I'm still dying for us to win it and I know by tomorrow tea time I will be flying. 2-1 City AET. Prisoner Cell Block A

6:00pm Mon 10 Dec 12

1 bingley bantam says...

I cant wait or this game and think we have a chance if we show the same never say die attitude which has been instilled in the team this season.
What we do need as much as anything though is a bloody good ref for a change capable of standing up to the guaranteed cheeting diving and play acting.
I cant wait or this game and think we have a chance if we show the same never say die attitude which has been instilled in the team this season. What we do need as much as anything though is a bloody good ref for a change capable of standing up to the guaranteed cheeting diving and play acting. 1 bingley bantam

11:07pm Mon 10 Dec 12

The Hump says...

Arsenal... who are ya? who are ya? who are ya?
Arsenal... who are ya? who are ya? who are ya? The Hump

12:54pm Tue 11 Dec 12

Waynus1971 says...

Thee Voice of Reason wrote:
Peter300 wrote: There were some ignorant loudmouths at the back of the Midland Road stand who did not understand what was going on during the game on Saturday. They just bawl out 'boot it forward'. Who are these people? They are hopeless!
They sit behind me in the kop too. Change it Parky, and get it forward why we passing it back were some of the shouts I heard. We did all we could to score on Saturday and it took a top quality strike to get past that keeper who seemed to be playing out of his skin. I thought we were very good on Saturday and we should have won by 3 or 4, but realistically it doesn't matter 3 points is 3 points. We have the best home record in the division and have conceeded only 6 goals in the league at home. What more are people wanting, this is a 10 fold improvement on anything in the last 15 years.
Sorry fella, but I can't agree with you this time.

You say the keeper played out of his skin. I can only remember 2 good saves, albeit, they were excellent ones. How many times did we have Darby & Meredith supporting the attacks, yet only one or two players in their box? I recall mentioning this on at least half dozen occasions.

Of course PP needed to make a change. I'm with those supporters you heard. They were defending with 9 men behind the ball. Did we really need to keep on 2 centre-backs, both full-backs and a defensive minded midfielder? PP made the correct change, taking off a centre-back for another forward, but this change was 20mins too late for me.

Had we pushed another forward into the box sooner, we may not have had to see out the last 5 mins, with nails bitten..!

We had all of the ball, but some of that was down to the fact they played with 10men for the majority and adopted tactics that allowed us to have the ball, without really hurting them. Or are you disagreeing that we didn't hurt them until Connell's wonder strike???
[quote][p][bold]Thee Voice of Reason[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Peter300[/bold] wrote: There were some ignorant loudmouths at the back of the Midland Road stand who did not understand what was going on during the game on Saturday. They just bawl out 'boot it forward'. Who are these people? They are hopeless![/p][/quote]They sit behind me in the kop too. Change it Parky, and get it forward why we passing it back were some of the shouts I heard. We did all we could to score on Saturday and it took a top quality strike to get past that keeper who seemed to be playing out of his skin. I thought we were very good on Saturday and we should have won by 3 or 4, but realistically it doesn't matter 3 points is 3 points. We have the best home record in the division and have conceeded only 6 goals in the league at home. What more are people wanting, this is a 10 fold improvement on anything in the last 15 years.[/p][/quote]Sorry fella, but I can't agree with you this time. You say the keeper played out of his skin. I can only remember 2 good saves, albeit, they were excellent ones. How many times did we have Darby & Meredith supporting the attacks, yet only one or two players in their box? I recall mentioning this on at least half dozen occasions. Of course PP needed to make a change. I'm with those supporters you heard. They were defending with 9 men behind the ball. Did we really need to keep on 2 centre-backs, both full-backs and a defensive minded midfielder? PP made the correct change, taking off a centre-back for another forward, but this change was 20mins too late for me. Had we pushed another forward into the box sooner, we may not have had to see out the last 5 mins, with nails bitten..! We had all of the ball, but some of that was down to the fact they played with 10men for the majority and adopted tactics that allowed us to have the ball, without really hurting them. Or are you disagreeing that we didn't hurt them until Connell's wonder strike??? Waynus1971

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