Bantams chief Rhodes eyeing a triple tonic to lift Bradford City's spirits (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Bantams chief Julian Rhodes eyeing a triple tonic to lift Bradford City's spirits
Julian Rhodes believes City’s hat-trick of home games coming up is as “huge as anything from last season.”
The Bantams host Port Vale tonight before entertaining MK Dons and bottom club Stevenage in an 11-day spell that could prove critical to their fortunes.
With no win for nearly three months – and none at Valley Parade since September 28 – joint-chairman Rhodes sees it as a crucial oppor-tunity to halt the slide.
And he urged the fans to do all they can to roar City and boss Phil Parkin-son towards a result that will instantly ease the building pressure.
Rhodes said: “I really feel that Phil, the man who took us to a cup final and got us promoted after all these years, needs the backing of everybody.
“We really need the fans to get behind him in particular and the team for the next three home games – everybody needs to do whatever we can.
“Phil himself has said he is going through a tough time. I know he is feeling it.
“He will be looking at all kinds of ways to stop the run we’ve been on. I’m sure the players are up for it.
“The supporters continue to be magnificent – they were absolutely brilliant against Crewe. We went 2-0 down and you’d have thought we were 3-0 up.
“Now we need to show our appreciation for what Phil has done and do everything to help.”
City have not won in ten home games since beating Shrewsbury, with seven of them draws.
The gap to the bottom four remained five points after the weekend postponement.
Rhodes added: “This time last year we were all looking forward to a cup final. These three games are as huge as any from last season because we don’t want to undo all of that good work.
“After them, we’ve got 13 left and eight away. Five of those are tough ones – Brentford, Leyton Orient, Rotherham, Coventry and Swindon.
“It’s really going to put the pressure on if we don’t have a good haul of points from this run. You don’t often get three consecutive home games to give you the opportunity to get the season back on track. We are certainly going to need some victories on the board.”
The unexpected free Saturday gave Aaron Mclean time to get his virus out the system. Andrew Davies has also felt the benefit having played two games in four days last week.
Parkinson has used the spare time for pep talks with his players.
He said: “The last few days has given me a good chance to sit down with a lot of the players. The confidence levels are what we’d expect in this situation and, as a staff, we’re just trying to get the most out of each individual.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been in this position where we’ve been so close so many times to getting a win. There is a snowball effect as this scenario has gone on.
“We’ve got to be focused on putting a consistent performance across the 90 minutes from all 11 players.
“I know that sounds obvious but look at the Crewe game. The team played really well second half, creating more chances and crosses than anything we’ve done all season, but defensively we played poorly.
“We need to put all departments of the team together for the whole game. Whether we concede a goal or whatever happens, we’ve got to keep playing well – there’s no other way to solve it.”