We must use fightback at Blades as a springboard, says Bradford City skipper (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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We must use fightback at Blades as a springboard, says Bradford City skipper Gary Jones
8:30am Tuesday 28th January 2014 in Sport
The turning point in City’s ultimately successful play-off push came with a two-goal fightback.
Now Gary Jones is hoping the same will happen to reverse their current downward trend in League One.
The longest of Good Fridays beckoned when Southend went two up in the first ten minutes at Valley Parade. At that stage, the top seven – and promotion – seemed more distant than ever.
But City climbed off the floor to salvage a point – and start the charge which ended in Wembley glory seven weeks later.
As City come off their ten-day break to host away specialists Preston tonight, skipper Jones believes they can draw similar inspiration from their recovery at Sheffield United.
Their barren run might have stretched to nine games without a win but that draw in south Yorkshire showed the captain the spirit is still there.
Jones said: “Those type of results can define a season. We saw that with what happened last year.
“Everyone knows we’re in a sticky patch but that can kick-start us again. We conceded two disappointing goals but then went out and gave a proper Bradford City performance, getting in their faces.
“It gave us something to build on because we’ve got some big games coming up against Preston and then Wolves. Hopefully we can use that to our advantage.
“It should be a special night. Preston will bring plenty of support and I’m sure we’ll have our usual 13,000.
“It’s up to us to send our supporters home happy and give them something to shout about. I’m sure we can do that.”
City could field three debutants after a hectic few days in the loan market. Jones is also looking forward to seeing Aaron Mclean make his first home start after an encouraging debut against the Blades.
Jones added: “He’ll add a different dimension for us and do well. He’ll definitely get goals.
“Aaron’s probably more of a physical player than Nahki (Wells). You saw for my goal last week how he brought the ball down and used his strength before laying off a nice pass.
“I thought he was good. He hadn’t played a lot of football but really put himself about. As he gets a bit more fitness and sharpness in training, I can see Aaron being a real threat.”
The extended wait since the last game has allowed the squad’s on-going injury niggles to settle.
Chris Atkinson has been added to the fray from Huddersfield but veteran Jones keeps on going and typified the recovery at Bramall Lane.
Phil Parkinson said: “We’ve asked a lot of Gary this season. At 36, we probably wouldn’t have expected him to play as much as he’s had to do.
“But with the injuries we’ve had, he’s been out there and has shown real leadership.”
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