PHIL Parkinson reckons City have landed a real coup in securing keeper Ben Williams for the rest of the year.
The 32-year-old has signed a new deal until the end of December – the only major bit of business as transfer deadline day passed quietly at Valley Parade.
Williams has looked solid in his two Capital One Cup outings but may be on the bench again at Oldham tonight with Jordan Pickford clear to play in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.
Parkinson is pleased to snap up the experienced stopper, who had been on non-contract terms since leaving Hibernian in the summer.
He said: “Ben did really well at Hibs. Last year was difficult for everyone there and maybe he got tarred with the same brush after the club went down.
“He’s a good keeper and we’re delighted to have him. Not only that but he’s a great character to have around the training ground and we always look at the personality when we bring players in.
“The goalkeeping position is very important and we’ve got to make that as strong as every other department.”
Parkinson will make changes at Boundary Park within the criteria of starting six of the regular players from the weekend line-up.
Matt Dolan and Mark Yeates are likely to get the nod and there will be a debut for central defender Christopher Routis.
Parkinson added: “A few players who are outside the starting XI in recent weeks deserve a game because they’ve done absolutely nothing wrong not to be in the team.
“Whether it’s a cup or league game, we’ve got standards we’ve set and want to maintain them.
“It was the same prior to the Leeds game. Whether it was Leeds United or not, we wanted to keep up our early season form.”
City were crushed 5-0 at the same stage last season by Hartlepool – their heaviest defeat during Parkinson’s three-year reign.
He added: “That can happen in a season - even top teams in world football have real off days. You’ve just got to make sure they are few and far between.”
Dolan remembers that game at Victoria Park well – he was playing for the home side on loan from Middlesbrough.
The midfielder said: “That was my second game for Hartlepool and we hadn’t scored a goal all season. It was just one of those things.
“But as the gaffer said on the training ground yesterday, ‘get yourself rested and get on the road to
Wembley’. People think that it’s only the JPT but there’s a trip to Wembley there for everyone.
“With the experience Bradford have had of Wembley over the last couple of years, it would be nice to get there again.”