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Bradford City boss Phil Parkinson: Hard graft only way to success
Phil Parkinson launches City’s latest bid to break out of the Football League basement tomorrow by reminding everyone: We have no divine right to succeed.
The trip to Gillingham kicks off their sixth season in a row in League Two – only Barnet and Accrington have currently been in the division longer.
Parkinson’s impressive summer signings have raised hopes that this could finally be City’s year and that optimism was further fuelled by the Capital One Cup win at Notts County.
But the Valley Parade chief stressed that nothing will be achieved on reputation alone.
He said: “It’s good to have that expectation around but every other club in the division is the same at this moment. Let’s be careful of that.
“We’ve got some good players but there are a lot of strong teams in this division. People always think Bradford have got a divine right but it doesn’t work like that.
“Too many times in the past people have thought that Bradford should be up there just because they are a big club. But we have to work exceptionally hard in every game to earn the right to do anything.
“We’ve got to work harder than every team we face, work harder in our preparation and in our training. Put simply, we have to work harder in every department of the football club to bring success.”
Parkinson has overhauled the squad since the end of last season with nine captures. Work also began this week on two new training pitches – an area he believes is vital to provide more solid foundations.
“This club has been down for too long – in fact we’re lucky we stayed in the league.
“There are reasons why we’re down here and we are trying to rectify those. We feel we’re on the right way to doing that in terms of the players brought in and getting the structure right behind the scenes.
“That has to be done to get the best out of the squad we’ve got as well as improve the young players at the club.
“You need that platform if you’re going to be successful. Without it, you’re nothing so I’m pleased we are progressing.”
Parkinson will check today on the fitness of Ritchie Jones and Andrew Davies. But he must be tempted to stick with the same side that played so well at Meadow Lane.
He knows Martin Allen well from their time together with Reading and is well aware what City can expect from the Priestfield Stadium. Gillingham, like City, are coming off a cup win after stunning Championship club Bristol City.
Parkinson added: “I saw Gillingham play Tuesday and they were right on it. It’s going to be a good game between two confident sides and we’re going to have to be very organised and competitive.
“Martin’s a good manager and someone I’ve worked with before at Reading. He’s got a proven record but I can’t wait to do battle with him.
“It’s a tough one but the lads are relishing it. Notts County away was a tough fixture on paper and we came through that.
“It’s about how we want to play, sticking to it and giving ourselves the best possible chance of winning.”