Make some noise, urges Bantams boss Parkinson ahead of Rotherham clash (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Make some noise, urges Bantams boss Phil Parkinson ahead of Rotherham clash
Phil Parkinson reckons a Valley Parade wall of noise can be City’s secret weapon against bogey men Rotherham.
Parkinson has issued a Boxing Day battle cry to the fans to play their part in ending the Millers’ jinx this afternoon.
The City chief will tell his players to ignore any histrionics going on off the field when he once again comes up against nemesis Steve Evans.
And he thinks the supporters have a key role as City look to banish a run of five successive defeats against their South Yorkshire counterparts.
Parkinson said: “It’s a great challenge for us and we’re going to need a really committed performance. The crowd are going to play a big part.
“We’ve got a few things disrupting us like injuries and suspensions and we’re going to need everybody giving that extra bit. Do that and I believe we’ll give ourselves a good chance.”
It is now three months since City’s last home win against Shrewsbury and Saturday’s loss at Peter-borough saw them drop to ninth. Rotherham are five points better off in the League One play-off zone.
The Bantams have not even managed to score in their last four meetings, most recently the 3-0 FA Cup loss at the New York Stadium – a result and performance that still smarts.
Parkinson added: “You only really look at our last three games. Prior to that in the season before, we had a poor team.
“We haven’t performed at all in the two away games. Rotherham were more committed than us on the day and we didn’t compete as well as we can do.
“The home game last season was more evenly contested. It was the time of the season when both teams really needed the points.
“For 82 minutes we were right in the game and then they got a contentious penalty decision.
“We were second best in the two at their place but it was very even here.”
The presence of Evans – given what happened with Crawley two seasons ago – always adds spice but Parkinson is focused on putting matters right on the field. City have won only once in 12 in the league.
He said: “All we’re bothered about is how we play. We’ve got to look for the reasons why they have won the last three games.
“We’ve got to look at it tactically and make sure we give ourselves the best chance by being committed in every challenge and run harder than Rotherham all over the pitch.
“It’s always about that balance. You’ve got to be physically strong and play with commitment and honesty but also calm on the ball as well.
“We’ve got good players who have got that composure in possession and we have to show that.
“Get the crowd right be-hind us and that will give the lads the best chance to get a result.”
James Hanson is set to sit out his second game of the week. Having missed Peterborough with a tight calf, the striker was unable to train on Monday because of a stomach bug.
Andy Gray’s efforts at London Road should earn him the nod to start – providing he can shake off a painful dead leg he suffered soon after coming on.
The City boss has a change to make at the other end with Rory McArdle suspended.
City’s back four could be up against a familiar face in on-loan Newcastle striker Haris Vuckic.
The 21-year-old trained with the Bantams at the start of the season and scored at Valley Parade in a private friendly against Accrington.
But Parkinson admitted City’s interest in him was cooled by the financial demands – Newcastle were believed to be wanting the loan club to pay a sizeable amount of the Slovenian’s wages.
He said: “We were interested way back in the summer then Pards (Alan Pardew) played him at Morecambe and decided he was going to keep him a while. By then we’d moved on.
“Haris is a player we’ve looked at and he’s a good lad. But with the finances (they were asking for) at the time, he’d have had to go straight in the starting 11. We’d had a good start and it would have made it difficult to justify the money Haris would have cost.”
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