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Phil Parkinson: Don’t let Bradford City cup run go for a Burton
City chase a place in the last 16 of the Capital One Cup tonight with Phil Parkinson telling them: Don’t let our hard work go to waste.
Parkinson’s men face Burton at Valley Parade aiming to become the final League Two side standing in the competition.
It is City’s first appearance in the third round for 11 years – and they have not made it beyond that since the 1988-89 quarter-final campaign.
Luke Oliver (shoulder) and Kyel Reid (ankle) both face late tests and Parkinson is expected to reshuffle the side that made it three wins on the trot at Oxford.
City have seen off higher-division Notts County and Watford so far but Parkinson is not expecting an easier time against opponents only three points behind them in the table.
He said: “We know it’s going to be difficult because Burton have had a very good start. They’ve got a lot of attacking options themselves and they are a decent side, no question.
“You don’t beat Leicester on their patch unless you’re a good side. We saw them last week beat York, so we know what to expect.
“We’ve got to pick the strongest team we can, bearing in mind all the games we have coming up.
“Both teams have worked very hard to get to this point. We’ve had two great wins on our travels and now we want to capitalise with the first home draw we’ve been given.
“We understand the implications of it and our preparation will be as thorough as ever, whether it’s a cup game or in the league.”
Parkinson made six changes for the previous round at Vicarage Road, where Garry Thompson emerged as the stoppage-time hero. Thompson is set for a start and there could be opportunities for the likes of Ricky Ravenhill and Stephen Darby.
The City chief said: “We’re not making changes just because it’s a cup game. When we played Gillingham we made a couple of changes for Fleetwood on the Tuesday.
“We’re looking at the freshness of the lads and we’ll pick a team we feel is the best one to win this game.
“Olly’s got a problem with his shoulder and Reidy took a whack at Oxford. We’ll look at them today and make a late call.
“It’s not about 11 players this year; it’s about all 19 or 20. You saw that again on Saturday when Garry Thompson came off the bench and did well.
“We want to keep winning and improving as both a team and a squad and everyone’s going to be required.”
The Bantams go into the cup clash in high spirits after Saturday’s first league victory on the road and their third on the spin.
Parkinson said:“That was a big win for us. It’s always important to get that first league away win and the supporters who went down there saw a very professional team.
“But we move on. We’ve got to keep it going and relish the next challenge, which is beating Burton.”
Gary Rowett’s team warmed up with a last-minute equaliser at Torquay but that did not tell the story of a game in which Burton hit the woodwork three times.
Left back Damien McCrory said: “We’re not scared of anyone. With the form we’re in, four out of four unbeaten, we could go on and get a result.
“The lads are scoring goals and we’ve kept three clean sheets in five games. Our performance is good all over the pitch.”
* Fans are reminded that flexi-cards are not valid for tonight.