Parkinson defiant as Bradford City aim to overcome Davies setback (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Phil Parkinson defiant as Bradford City aim to overcome Andrew Davies setback
Phil Parkinson is calling for an “us against the world” siege mentality to see City to another Valley Parade triumph tomorrow.
His plans for the home clash with bottom club Tranmere have been riddled with setbacks – with the squad reduced to one senior centre half.
The biggest bombshell was the news that Andrew Davies had a knee operation on Thursday which will rule him out for at least three months. He had been struggling with a problem but it flared up after the Walsall game.
So City suddenly find themselves with their backs against the wall as they take on a side who have won only twice since March.
Parkinson said: “It’s a day when we’re going to ask everyone to give five per cent more. It’s the same for our supporters.
“They are intelligent enough to identify that we’ve had a tough week. When that happens at a football club, everybody’s got to pull together – from the stands as well as on the pitch.
“We’ve got to come through this adversity and we’ll be looking for everyone to galvanise behind the team.
“When I was first manager at Colchester, things would happen like you’d get a call in the morning about a problem and you’d think ‘what now’. But it does go on through the course of a season and you do get used to it.
“This is a little bit unprecedented, having so many defenders out. But if you are going to be ultimately successful, there are numerous scenarios that you have to overcome.
“The teams which take the easy option and look for excuses are the ones that don’t achieve anything. We don’t want to be like that.
“We’ve got ourselves in a good position and we’ve got to make sure that we all do that extra bit.”
Ronnie Moore’s presence in the visiting dugout will add further spice. The former Rotherham boss is making his first appearance at Valley Parade since Tom Adeyemi’s controversial late goal earned Peter Jackson his debut win in the City hot-seat in March 2011.
Moore has never been forgiven by fans since his infamous comments at the time of the club’s first administration in 2002, branding the Bantams a “disgrace” and calling for them to be kicked out of the league.
Parkinson said: “We want a passionate atmosphere. Tranmere come to our patch bottom of the league and we know they are going to be fighting and scrapping for every ball.
“But we know there’s got to be a lack of confidence and self-belief somewhere in there. We need to find that.
“Come the end of the game, we’ve got to make sure that if Tranmere have got anything from us, they’ve got to really earn it.
“If we’ve played as well as we can do and the supporters make it a cup-tie atmosphere, Tranmere will have to perform above their level.”
Parkinson only found out the extent of Davies’ injury from surgeon Steve Bollen on Wednesday night. He had hoped they could manage it through for the rest of the season.
McArdle was an unused substitute in Northern Ireland’s humiliating 2-0 loss at Azerbaijan last night, although Jonny Evans’ late red card could open the door for the City defender to play in Israel on Tuesday.
Rovers have got permission from Wales to take keeper Owain Fon Williams out of their squad to play. City have explored the option to bring McHugh back from the Republic of Ireland under-21s but playing away last night made it complicated.
Parkinson said: “We have been in dialogue with the under-21 manager over there. But it’s the logistics of him being in Romania and getting him back which has proved problematic.”
Tranmere have also signed Aston Villa youngster Bradley Watkins on a month’s youth loan as cover because their other two goalkeepers are injured.
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