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Bradford City prepared to drop Tranmere Rovers in it
City have warned tomorrow’s opponents Tranmere: We have no qualms about sending you down.
Phil Parkinson’s side head into the final day of the League One campaign with the home side’s destiny in their hands.
Rovers currently sit in the final relegation slot, a point behind Crewe and two off Notts County.
But bitter memories of their smash-and-grab win at Valley Parade in October will ensure that City will not be in an obliging mood on the Wirral.
The Bantams were fourth at the time and the visitors bottom but Tranmere took the points from a feisty contest after defender Ian Good-ison escaped with appearing to flatten Kyel Reid with his elbow.
So there is plenty of incentive to settle the score within the City ranks.
Parkinson said: “It has been mentioned a few times throughout the week – by the players more than myself. We’ll have to see.
“It was a frustrating afternoon for us. We went into the game depleted defensively and things didn’t work out but now we’ve got a chance to even it up.”
City can seal a top-half finish with victory and Parkinson is keen to show the outside world that a team safely ensconced in mid-table will be as up for the battle as their desperate hosts.
“That’s maybe not what people will be expecting so we’ve got to change that. We don’t want anyone to accuse us of not putting in a performance.
“They’ve got to win and still rely on other teams. I’ve met (caretaker manager) John McMahon a few times and he’s a nice bloke but he will expect us to come and be really professional, as we would from them if the shoe was on the other foot.
“You expect Tranmere to be building this game up massively with the supporters. I would imagine it will be close to a sell-out.
“But we want to go there and put in a proper performance. We understand Tranmere have got a lot to play for but so have we.
“We know it’s going to be fast and furious because there is so much at stake for them.
“We’ve done our homework on them, I went down to Crawley the other week to watch them and we’ve seen their last two home games. Hopefully we can use that knowledge to our benefit.
“It’s great to not be in their position but equally we’ve got to concentrate on Bradford City, not Tranmere, and make sure we play well.”
McMahon has been in charge since February when Ronnie Moore was suspended for breaching FA betting rules. Moore was sacked last month after admitting the charges and is waiting for his punishment.
Meanwhile, Parkinson plans to deal with City’s out-of-contract players first before focusing on new signings.
With so many of his squad unsure of their future, the Bantams chief will hold talks next week.
He said: “We’ve got players who have worked really hard for us over the last couple of years to establish us now as a League One club. The priority before we look elsewhere will be to secure those players.
“In the next week or so, we’ll be having meetings with those players and their agents to ascertain whether we are going to be able to do that within our budget.”
Parkinson had put those discussions on ice until City’s league position was totally secured. The exact size of his budget will hinge on season-ticket sales.
He added: “I presume the chairmen have got a projected figure in their minds but we’ve got to tick the players off one by one on that basis.
“We had a list of priorities we wanted to work towards but we couldn’t get clear enough of the relegation battle. Even though we always had that cushion, any club in our position would have been the same.
“It’s a dangerous game if you start speaking to players first and the contract talks then become bigger than the actual matches. We couldn’t let that happen.
“The most important thing was that we’re still in this division come next year and we’ve achieved that.”
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