Parkinson hoping Bates stays injury-free as he looks to kick-start career at Bantams (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Phil Parkinson hoping Matthew Bates stays injury-free as he looks to kick-start career at Bantams
Phil Parkinson is confident City can see the best of Matthew Bates after an injury-ravaged past.
The 26-year-old defender has undergone five cruciate operations during a career that has been punctured by lengthy spells on the sidelines.
Former England youth international Bates, who was released by Bristol City at the end of last season, is looking to rebuild a reputation he established with home-town club Middlesbrough.
He trained during the summer with Colin Cooper’s Hartlepool but turned down their offer to play at a higher level.
A chance with Sheffield Wednesday failed to materialise before Bates snapped up a three-month deal with the Bantams last Friday. He signed in time to make the squad for the Tranmere game but remained on the bench.
Parkinson said: “Matthew’s a good player and gives us great experience.
“I like Matty and just hope his injuries are behind him. He’s been training for six weeks at Sheffield Wednesday but they weren’t in the position to offer him a contract.
“I’ve seen him play many times and hopefully we can get him back to somewhere near where we know he can perform.
“We lost Andrew Davies and Matty can play centre back. He can also cover full back and midfield.
“I just feel that through this period we’ve got coming up, we need to be as strong as we possibly can.”
The weekend trip to Crawley kicks off a daunting eight days which also see City play at Simon Grayson’s Preston on Tuesday before a much-anticipated Valley Parade clash with Wolves.
But Parkinson does not expect any lingering hangover from his side’s shock first home loss to Tranmere.
He said: “It was very frustrating but we’ve taken it on the chin and will all move on. We are still in a terrific position.”
Meanwhile, Colchester have sounded out City about the possibility of extending Matt Taylor’s loan.
The centre half’s month-long stay is up after the U’s visit Brentford on Saturday and boss Joe Dunne is keen to hang on to him.
But finances could be a stumbling block for Colchester, who are understood to be paying a lot of the player’s wages.
Taylor has made four appearances for the Essex club and scored once. He said: “It’s been good to get out there again. It’s what every footballer wants to do. No footballer wants to just sit there and get paid for nothing.”
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