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Bradford City set for a busy transfer window
City want to bolster their promotion push with “two or three” signings in the transfer window as Julian Rhodes heralded a 2013 to relish.
Phil Parkinson, whose side kick off the new year with an all-ticket trip to Morecambe this afternoon, discussed potential target areas with joint-chairman Rhodes over the weekend.
City’s Capital One Cup windfall has added the financial clout to strengthen the squad, and Rhodes is confident they can make the right moves.
He said: “We are in a stronger position financially than we would have been because of the cup run and we aim to recruit.
“We’ve got another very busy month coming up and we all know February, March and April are going to be absolutely key. So there may be two or three new faces coming in that will help.
“We saw certain areas where we struggled against Rochdale. We’ve had a lot of games and a relatively small squad to cope.
“The next few weeks will see us go Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday again and we need to aim to have a stronger group.”
City are keeping tight-lipped on potential targets but a new centre half looks a priority. Parkinson may also be eyeing further competition up front for James Hanson and Nahki Wells.
With the contracts of Park-inson and number two Steve Parkin up for renewal at the end of the season, Rhodes reiterated the belief that City have the right hot-seat team in place to continue their revival.
“I never think Phil and Steve got the credit they deserved for keeping us up last season.
“Look at the home record when we only lost one of the last 15 games. We built our survival campaign on the back of it.
“They carried on working hard through the summer to produce this squad that has given us more entertainment and better results. We’ve got many reasons to be optimistic going into 2013.
“The good thing about this management team is that they work with the board of directors. Quite often at football clubs, it can get fractious but the trust is there between all parties.
“Some managers think they know better than anybody and won’t listen. But that doesn’t work in any walk of life.
“Phil does sound out other people’s opinions and base decisions on that.”
City head into the second half of the season in the play-off picture for the first time in four years and with two cup semi-finals against Aston Villa beckoning.
Rhodes admitted the good times have been long overdue.
He added: “We’ve had a decade where ironically the financial position has been getting stronger every year but on the pitch we’ve slipped down the league. There has been nothing to cheer about and we’ve even been fighting for our survival at times.
“What was so good about 2012 is that we continued to progress financially but also performed on the pitch as well. There’s a genuine belief that we’ve turned the corner and steering the ship back in the right direction.
“A marker of our progress is that this time last season, the area semi-final of the JPT and going to Oldham was deemed the highlight. This year it’s almost been turned into an insignificance because of the Capital One Cup and our league position.”
Rhodes highlighted the Arsenal and Wigan cup wins among his most memorable matches of the past 12 months as well as last season’s victories over Northampton and Southend which secured safety.
He said: “I also thought the first home game in August against Fleetwood put a marker down. They were hugely tipped to do well but we put in a very good performance which sent out a message.
“Off the pitch, there was another financial milestone when we finally sold the office buildings. There’s also the continued development of Andre Wisdom and George Green, which is hopefully going to keep having an impact financially.
“The extension of Nahki’s contract was crucial because he is an asset. If we had let his deal run down I’m sure he would have had other offers but obviously he wants to stay and go up the divisions with us.
“And then there was the decision to have a tilt at promotion in the summer. It’s quite exciting when you are building a squad capable of challenging and people see that’s what Phil has done.
“Now we can look forward to a club who are not only financially strong but hopefully have a squad and team to match.”