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Bradford City determined not to hit the Wal at ten-game mark
City are bracing themselves for a battle of the fittest at Walsall tomorrow.
The trip to the Bescot marks their tenth game in League One – a point when Phil Parkinson believes the table starts to take a proper look.
He wants to enjoy studying it as his side, minus Nahki Wells, face the team who became the first to stall runaway leaders Leyton Orient.
The Saddlers tend to employ an extra central midfielder – so Parkinson is preaching patience as well as persistence as City look to reinforce their play-off spot.
He said: “Walsall have done really well playing 4-5-1. They played great at Wolves and had a good win at Crewe.
“With that extra man in there, they are going to have a lot of possession in games. We know it’s going to be a game when physically we will be tested.
“They’ve got a lot of energy but we pride ourselves on our fitness. And tactically it’s important everybody does their job without the ball.
“We’ve got to make sure we don’t lose our shape or discipline because that’s when you’re going to get picked off.
“We’ve got some mouth-watering fixtures in October and you still feel there’s that freshness about everybody since we’ve gone up.
“I don’t set targets, apart from trying to win each game. But it will be nice to see where we are after tomorrow.
“The league table after ten games takes a bit of shape and let’s hope we’ll be right in there.”
He said: “Teams play to the strengths of the front players but we’ve got plenty of options. We’ve got to make sure we get the right one for this game.
“We’re determined to keep going in terms of our performance levels.”
Mark Yeates is most likely to continue in the role he took on last week. It is a position he played frequently for Colchester with Clive Platt when Paul Lambert was his boss.
The Irishman said: “It’s a nice position playing off the big man. You can float around the park and get on the ball.
“I also played there a lot as a youth player at Tottenham so it’s not foreign to me and I enjoy it.
“I’ve had to be patient. Coming out (the side) after beating Sheffield United was a bit disappointing but the lads have been great.
“The side’s well established and it’s been such a solid XI. I came in during the summer and all the new lads knew it would be difficult at times to get in that team.
“I started off quite well but had a few niggles so wasn’t able to train to the level we’d hope for so that didn’t help.
“No one can take away what Nahki has done so far. But it’s up to the boys who come in to step up to the plate.
“Nahki’s going to be a miss but there’s no reason we can’t put in a performance that will show what we’re all about.”
Caleb Folan’s international clearance has come through so he goes straight into the squad.
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