Parkinson warns Bradford City: Wimbledon won’t be hit for six again (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Phil Parkinson warns Bradford City fans and players not to expect another goalrush against Wimbledon
City will be told to forget AFC Wimbledon’s six-goal spanking as they chase a winning double at Valley Parade tomorrow.
Phil Parkinson’s men aim to build on the midweek victory over Fleetwood with three more home points against a side still reeling from losing 6-2 at Burton.
Given City’s tough run of fixtures to kick off the campaign, the south Londoners appear the easiest pickings – especially after suffering their heaviest defeat since joining the league.
But Parkinson stressed that will not be the view in the City dressing room.
The Bantams chief said: “That’s not the way I look at it at all. Wimbledon beat Chesterfield in the first game and their manager and board will be expecting them to build on last year and mount a challenge on the top seven.
“Like many managers and teams, everybody has got a lot of optimism at this stage of the season.
“For any supporter or player of Bradford to think for one second that they aren’t going be as strong as Fleetwood, who’ve just come up, would be very naive.”
Early form can be a minefield, with the opening week always liable to throw up strange results. Parkinson will certainly not focus too much on one freak scoreline.
He said: “It’s always dangerous to read too much into the first few games. I feel this is a division where a team which is not expected to do well can get up there.
“Wimbledon are a team who’ve been together a long while and have a good spirit, which can take you a long way in this league. You can’t write any team off.
“There’s not a great deal between the top teams and the bottom ones, as we showed last year.
“It’s not like the Premier League where there are big games because of the resources the top clubs have got. In this division, the playing field is not as unbalanced.”
Wombles boss Terry Brown vented his fury by hauling his side back in for extra training on their day off. Parkinson will have eyed their defensive shortcomings closely but expects a strong response.
He said: “Of course there are areas that Burton exploited in Wimbledon’s back four. They had a really bad 45 minutes and you can’t hide away from the fact they conceded four quick goals.
“But we also know that we played Wimbledon three times last year and we had three very tough games. This one will be exactly the same.
“I think we will have to be on it just as much as Tuesday, possibly more, if we’re going to get the three points.”
It is four years since City last began their league campaign with successive home wins but confidence is high among fans.
Parkinson will assess the “bumps and bruises” from the Fleetwood win but it would be a surprise to see too many changes.
“We want to be positive at home when the situation allows you to be and we’ll do that again tomorrow,” he said.
“Whoever puts the shirt on, that’s the way we want to play and we know when we do that, we get the response from the supporters.
“We’re going out to win again and we will remind the players about what we did well on Tuesday and what we need to reproduce.
“There were a lot of good signs for us. It was a really competitive game and I’m expecting another one against Wimbledon.”
City are confident of avoiding a repeat of the queues outside the ground on Tuesday. Fans with flexicards will now be able to use any turnstile to go in.
The club will also reopen the original ticket office next to the old club shop for supporters to pick up season-tickets or flexicards.