PHIL Parkinson is confident that City can cope without defensive talisman Andrew Davies.

The key centre half faces another extensive spell on the sidelines after breaking his arm in Saturday's 1-0 loss to Peterborough.

But Parkinson will not allow City to use his absence as an excuse for allowing their solid start to the new campaign to drop away.

The Bantams boss said: "He's had a great start to the season. He's probably fitter than he's ever been.

"It's a big blow to lose him within a game and whatever games he's going to miss.

"However, we've got enough players to come in and do a job and I don't want to use that as an excuse as the season goes on.

"Players get injured. Two years ago, Davo got injured and we went on to go to a major cup final."

Alan Sheehan is expected to replace Davies in the middle against Leeds on Wednesday, while Frenchman Christopher Routis could soon see his first action since signing a one-year deal on the eve of the season.

Parkinson said: "We've got to make sure that we respond and the players who come in keep hold of the shirt.

"We've got a team of captains. I've said it all along that there are many leaders in that squad.

"Andrew is one of them but if we've lost him for a while, which it looks like we have, we'll regroup and come back strong."

Kyle Vassell scored the only goal for Peterborough just two minutes after Davies had left the action. The defeat was City's first but Parkinson refused to be too downbeat as they build up for the televised Capital One Cup derby.

He said: "Naturally we're disappointed because we've had a fantastic start to the season. But it's a little reality check for us.

"We lost our way for a spell after the goal but got it back when Billy Knott went into the centre of the midfield three.

"He got the ball down and passed it and I thought he was tremendous. He kept going to the end and tried to get us playing."

Parkinson will expect to have Billy Clarke in contention for the cup tie after missing the last three games with a minor hamstring strain.

But Mason Bennett will only be allowed to play if his parent club Derby are knocked out by Charlton tomorrow.

Parkinson said: "We've got an extra day to recover with the Leeds game being on Wednesday. We'll just reassess everybody – they will all be needed.

"We've got a small squad but that's more or less what we've had before. When you're left out the team, you can't show that disappointment.

"When you get your chance, we've got to have everybody make sure they are ready to make their contribution, whether it's Wednesday or Saturday or the (JPT) game against Oldham."

Leeds appear to be in disarray after having two men sent off in a 4-1 defeat at Watford – a result that has reportedly left head coach Dave Hockaday's position in the balance.

Parkinson said: "We've obviously had Leeds watched over the past couple of games. We want to pick a team that will do the club proud and the city of Bradford proud."