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Not best friends: Bantams assistant Steve Parkin on Rotherham rivalry
City go toe-to-toe once more with Rotherham and nemesis Steve Evans on live TV tonight, admitting: We don’t get on.
Phil Parkinson has lost all six of his encounters against the Millers as Bantams boss – as well as every time they have faced Evans in the opposing dug-out.
City number two Steve Parkin, who was sent off at Valley Parade last season after a touchline row with Rotherham assistant Paul Raynor, concedes there is no love lost between the two coaching teams.
Parkin said: “We don’t get on but they’re no different to us really. They want to win and that’s all that matters.
“My hand will be there to be shaken afterwards – it’s whether or not they want to. But that’s up to them.
“The important thing is we’re representing our division. We’ve got two really good clubs who’ve come a long way in the last 18 months.
“It’s a good spectacle for people. We were on the telly plenty of times last year and it’s always nice.
“We’ve got a lot of respect for Rotherham as a team and a club. They got promoted and look like they are going to be right in the top part again.
“They’ve had a terrific season. They do put teams under pressure and we’ve got to be ready for that.”
Aaron Mclean is struggling with a hamstring problem he suffered in training but Nathan Doyle has trained all week.
Parkinson may be tempted to include him in a five-man midfield to support Jon Stead up front. James Hanson is still undergoing treatment and misses out again.
City lost 3-0 in the FA Cup at the New York Stadium in November following last season’s 4-0 drubbing on their first visit.
They have not even scored in the last five meetings but Parkin believes the recent improved form on the road will give them confidence. And he insists there is no Rotherham hoodoo.
“I’m not a massive believer in all that.
“I believe that you’ve got to play well enough to win football matches and we’ve not done that – certainly at their ground.
“They never gave us chance to get going last time and we accepted it. We were bitterly disappointed because we take the cups very seriously here.
“A lot of things have changed since then and we’ve got to make sure our team are ready for a really quick start. It’s a local derby and we have to be clued in.”
Evans, who was given a six-match stadium ban last season following a previous incident with a female member of the City staff, believes his reputation has been too hyped up.
He said: “Some of what has been reported in the lead-up to the games has been bordering on being really naughty and inciting certain things to happen. It’s all been noted, put away and all on a file somewhere.
“It’s not similar to a play-off game because Bradford are not in the play-offs. But if you are a Rotherham United fan you do look forward to Bradford coming.
“But do you look forward more to Bradford coming or going to Wolves next week? Do me a favour.”
It will be the first game to be shown live from Rotherham’s home, which is now in its second season. And Evans believes City will have the edge in TV experience.
He added: “If they turned up and played the Red Lion a week on Saturday, they’d get television exposure.
“We all know the cameras should have been here (before). They have been at some obscure places in the last 20 months and as Rotherham United people, we have had to watch that.”
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