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Bradford City skipper Gary Jones: First win post-Wembley can be catalyst
Gary Jones is urging City to steam into tomorrow’s Yorkshire derby to kick-start a league revival.
The Bantams head to York for the first time since Boxing Day 1995, needing three points from the all-ticket clash to start making inroads in the leading pack.
Wednesday’s draw with Dagenham left them ten behind seventh-placed Cheltenham but with three games still in hand.
Jones insists the play-offs remain very much on the agenda now that the Wembley “circus” has gone. And the all-action skipper is ready to bust a gut to make up the ground they have lost.
He said: “We need to go full steam ahead and make sure we’re ready for every game.
“We’ve had the cup final – now we’ve got cup finals coming up every week. There is a lot of football to be played and we’ve got to be raring to go.
“We should be in that top seven at the end of the season. We’ve got a decent enough squad with good players.
“If we can play like we know we can, with the fantastic support we get right behind us, then we can push up quick.
“Three wins and you are quickly within touching distance of the play-offs. But it’s very important to get that first one and start the ball rolling.”
Jones admits that leading City out at Wembley will always be one of his proudest moments. The Capital One Cup final was something to savour – despite the hefty loss inflicted by Swansea.
But he is also relieved that life has finally returned to normal again.
Jones added: “It’s amazing what we achieved. A League Two team getting to the final will never happen again.
“It was an absolutely amazing run and we should be proud of it. But I’m also glad that it’s over.
“It was getting to be a bit like a circus because it took over everything.
“You couldn’t hide the fact that we were in a major final. It was impossible to sweep under the carpet because it’s only human nature to keep thinking about it.
“So of course the league results have suffered. That’s why I’m pleased it’s out of the way.
“We’ve got to get back to improving our league form now and hopefully we can still push towards the play-offs.”
The veteran’s biggest regret from Wembley – other than the one-sided margin of defeat – was that City were unable to put any pressure on Michael Laudrup’s side. But they did not have enough possession to do that.
Jones said: “If you get to a final, you are desperate to win it. But we came up against a top Premier League team who were passing it for fun.
“People say why didn’t you try to get closer and tackle them but we couldn’t. You had wingers coming inside and the formation kept changing, they were impossible to mark.
“We never got the ball and whenever we lost it, you wouldn’t see it again for five minutes. It was frustrating.
“But you look at the stats in the Premier League and Swansea are right up there when it comes to the amount of possession.
“They have embarrassed teams like that in the league – they put four past QPR the other week.”