Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting TANEWS to 80360, or email
Phil Parkinson plots Reading-style future for Bradford City
Phil Parkinson plans to sign for City again this week and then step up his ambitions to turn them into another Reading.
Parkinson is poised to commit his future to Valley Parade after fending off links with the Premier League strugglers.
The Bantams boss had been named among the short-list contenders for an emotional return to the club where he played for 11 years.
But after Saturday’s 4-1 loss at Exeter left City’s play-off hopes more distant than ever, Parkinson insisted the speculation had not been a distraction – and spelled out his intention to follow Reading’s blueprint in West Yorkshire.
Parkinson said: “It’s been a long week with being in Devon but we’re getting close (to signing the new contract) and hopefully that will be sorted in the next few days. Then we can all plan for the rest of the season and on to next year.
“I want to try and create a Reading at Bradford. The way that club has developed and built over the years – that’s what I’d like to do with the two chairmen.
“I’ve got a really good working relationship with Julian (Rhodes) and Mark (Lawn) and enjoy working here.
“The Reading thing came out because I used to play for the club but that’s it. It’s not been a distraction at all.
“I want to focus on the job here and really work hard to finish the season well.
“If we don’t get to where we want to be – and obviously it’s drifted away from us to an extent – then we’ve got to make sure we’re stronger next year. The finances we’ve got from the cup run will help us to do that.”
Parkinson reached his 100th game in charge at St James Park. While City face up to the prospect of spending a seventh season in the bottom tier, he does not want to see an historic campaign drift to a flat finish – especially with six of the last nine games at Valley Parade.
He said: “We’ve got three in a row at home now and we’ve really got to have a go. It’s really important to keep the season alive as much as we can.
“We can’t let it peter out because I don’t think our supporters or the players deserve that.”
City’s first loss since the Capital One Cup final was nowhere near as emphatic as the score suggested. And Parkinson was delighted with Kyel Reid’s performance as a second-half substitute which threatened to engineer a comeback.
He said: “Reidy was back to how he can play, which I’m pleased with because he’s such an important player. He’s been disappointing of late but I thought he really sparked us off.
“You can see the lads running themselves into the ground, certainly in the second half, and it deflates you when the ball is coming in the box and it’s not hitting the back of the net.
“We had enough crosses and enough quality on the pitch to score more goals.”