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Bradford City ready to end league road trip duck
Phil Parkinson insists City’s away form is no big issue as they hunt a first road win at out-of-form Oxford tomorrow.
The Bantams have made their best start to a home league campaign for more than half a century with four straight victories.
But they are still looking to break their duck on their travels with only one point from three attempts so far.
City struggled dismally away from Valley Parade last term. But Parkinson has assembled a very different side and they have twice beaten higher-division opposition in the Capital One Cup.
Having faced two of the promotion favourites, including early leaders Gillingham, he believes there is no cause for concern on the league front.
Parkinson, who let Ross Hannah join Grimsby on a three-month loan yesterday, said: “It’s just people finding things to talk about because we are going well.
“Of course we want our first three points away from home. But I’ve got no doubt that we have a team with the capabilities of achieving that.
“We’re in a good position and the attitude of the lads has been outstanding.
“They want to be successful and everyone’s pulling in the same direction. They are playing and training with commitment.
“I can’t speak highly enough of them at the moment and we’ve got to keep it going.”
Jon McLaughlin ’s side injury is not serious and Parkinson will make a call today with Matt Duke ready to return.
After winning their first three games, Oxford have lost the last four and badly need a pick-me-up.
Parkinson warned: “They are a good side and are still perceived as one of the promotion favourites this season.
“Our away games have been difficult ones so far and this will be another like that.
“If you look at our away form, I thought we played really well at Accrington and Gillingham. We played well at Watford and Notts County and we know why we were poor at Rotherham.”
City have a 24-hour recall clause on Hannah after the first month. But Parkinson has plenty of attacking options – with the money he’s saving on the striker available to bring another in if required.
He said: “If we do get injuries, I can utilise his wages to get another player in. We’ve got a couple of options waiting in the wings to come in.
“The board weren’t pushing me to do it financially. But it gives us that opportunity if we need to, bearing in mind Adam Baker hasn’t been on the bench either.
“Zavon Hines can play up there and Thommo (Garry Thompson) is obviously desperate to go up front. We’ve got six players for those positions.
“Ross wanted to go and was getting frustrated. Sometimes when you’ve got a frustrated player, it’s best to let them go out and play.
“Ross was desperate to go and we have turned down numerous opportunities for him.
“He’s never played at Conference level, so let’s see how he does. He’s a good lad and I’m sure he’ll do well.”
City were unchanged in midweek but, with action for the next three Tuesday nights, Parkinson plans to shuffle things about.
He said: “We’ve got a lot of games and involvement in cup competitions. Realistically, are the same 11 going to play? No, it won’t happen.”