Bradford City: Manic match schedule has ‘taken its toll on players’

Andrew Davies - who has been playing with a swollen knee - is just one of the City first-team regulars badly in need of a week's rest

Andrew Davies - who has been playing with a swollen knee - is just one of the City first-team regulars badly in need of a week's rest

First published in Sport Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , Bradford City Reporter

Phil Parkinson admits City’s free week could not have come a moment too soon.

Today is the first Tuesday for over a month that they have not had a game in a hectic schedule.

It is a brief respite before City face three more midweekers on the bounce – trips to Northampton and Premier League Wigan before a home clash with Chesterfield.

Midfielder Ritchie Jones is expected to get some game time for the reserves today against Mansfield as he builds up following his two-month injury absence.

But for the rest of Parkinson’s squad, the next few days are a valuable opportunity to recharge batteries in time for the next busy spell.

City have used only 17 players in the opening 12 league games and Parkinson, who gave them a day off yesterday, feels the recent rush of action has taken its toll.

Parkinson said: “This week is really important for us. Watching from the sidelines, it looked like a game too far on Saturday.

“This is the chance to rest any injuries, recharge the batteries and come out really ready to fight because we play at our best when we play with intensity.”

City looked sluggish in the first half of the draw with York and Parkinson admitted some of his side were carrying knocks from wear and tear.

“Some have played when they probably shouldn’t have done. Andrew Davies has had swelling on his knee for a while and Luke Oliver’s got this hip problem and did really well to be out there.

“The ones who’ve played all the games like Davies need to get their injuries right.

“We’ve got to use the time wisely because once this week’s finished we go again. There are a lot of players who need a rest.”

Parkinson will be keeping his fingers crossed that Rory McArdle returns unscathed from international duty with Northern Ireland.

McArdle is likely to be on the bench for tonight’s World Cup qualifier against Portugal in Porto, where Cristiano Ronaldo will win his 100th cap.

Comments (9)

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9:34am Tue 16 Oct 12

tyker2 says...

abig enouh squad? perhaps not but then that's what happens when budgets are so tight
abig enouh squad? perhaps not but then that's what happens when budgets are so tight tyker2
  • Score: 0

11:51am Tue 16 Oct 12

Bantam sthn Ellatha says...

We should tell the football league to stop giving us all these mid-week games. It's most unfair when no-one else has them.

Never mind, come next Saturday we will be back to top form against Cheltenham what with having this long break since the York match.
We should tell the football league to stop giving us all these mid-week games. It's most unfair when no-one else has them. Never mind, come next Saturday we will be back to top form against Cheltenham what with having this long break since the York match. Bantam sthn Ellatha
  • Score: 0

1:37pm Tue 16 Oct 12

wja1966 says...

For me tiredness has been a small problem but the big problem for me is missing Gary Jones.

His set pieces havent been replaced and his on ball and off ball work is second to none.

The sooner he's back the sooner we get to winning games. He's a massive loss
For me tiredness has been a small problem but the big problem for me is missing Gary Jones. His set pieces havent been replaced and his on ball and off ball work is second to none. The sooner he's back the sooner we get to winning games. He's a massive loss wja1966
  • Score: 0

2:17pm Tue 16 Oct 12

bcfc1903 says...

Yeah, Gary Jones is key as is Reid, two massive losses, but i believe BCFC still have the quality to stick around the top seven until we get these lads back in the Claret and Amber.
Yeah, Gary Jones is key as is Reid, two massive losses, but i believe BCFC still have the quality to stick around the top seven until we get these lads back in the Claret and Amber. bcfc1903
  • Score: 0

5:07pm Tue 16 Oct 12

audal says...

The T&A were quick to point out the 57/58 home record. so may i bring to all posters who think todays "men" ? shouldn't have to be subjected to (god forgive) 3 games in a week. in the season mentioned whilst playing on XMAS DAY, BOXING DAY AND NEW YEARS DAY. City had the record from 14/12/57-- 18/1/58. of P9. W4. D4 L1 not bad for a team of 14 players who formed that squad in all those games unlike todays super fit kids.
The T&A were quick to point out the 57/58 home record. so may i bring to all posters who think todays "men" ? shouldn't have to be subjected to (god forgive) 3 games in a week. in the season mentioned whilst playing on XMAS DAY, BOXING DAY AND NEW YEARS DAY. City had the record from 14/12/57-- 18/1/58. of P9. W4. D4 L1 not bad for a team of 14 players who formed that squad in all those games unlike todays super fit kids. audal
  • Score: 0

7:10pm Tue 16 Oct 12

KnightMcCall says...

It's not the same though Audal. Even a basic understanding of Sports Science will explain that the intensity of the modern game puts a far greater strain on the human body than it did 50 years ago. It is not just City who suffer; the top Premier League teams (the ones who want to win things) all have 25 world class players in a squad and rotate on a regular basis. They don't do this just to show off; they do it because the science and the data they get tells them they won't be successful otherwise.

People often suggest that it shouldn't be a problem playing three games a week but it clearly is a problem. City have used the fewest number of players in the football league so far; perhaps those who criticised PP for tinkering last season were wrong. As we now know; both Oliver and Davies had to play with injuries on Saturday which doesn't help later in the season. One or two re-inforcements would be welcome.

If you read the article though; PP is not whinging about having the schedule; he is just pleased to have some breathing space for those with niggles to recover.
It's not the same though Audal. Even a basic understanding of Sports Science will explain that the intensity of the modern game puts a far greater strain on the human body than it did 50 years ago. It is not just City who suffer; the top Premier League teams (the ones who want to win things) all have 25 world class players in a squad and rotate on a regular basis. They don't do this just to show off; they do it because the science and the data they get tells them they won't be successful otherwise. People often suggest that it shouldn't be a problem playing three games a week but it clearly is a problem. City have used the fewest number of players in the football league so far; perhaps those who criticised PP for tinkering last season were wrong. As we now know; both Oliver and Davies had to play with injuries on Saturday which doesn't help later in the season. One or two re-inforcements would be welcome. If you read the article though; PP is not whinging about having the schedule; he is just pleased to have some breathing space for those with niggles to recover. KnightMcCall
  • Score: 0

7:18pm Tue 16 Oct 12

rowsman says...

All credit to Davies and Oliver because it was obvious they were carrying an injury last Saturday and still gave their best on the day. Would have helped if we had tried to keep possesion of the ball more through the midfield.
All credit to Davies and Oliver because it was obvious they were carrying an injury last Saturday and still gave their best on the day. Would have helped if we had tried to keep possesion of the ball more through the midfield. rowsman
  • Score: 0

7:52pm Tue 16 Oct 12

Bantam sthn Ellatha says...

"The intensity of the modern game puts a far greater strain on the human body"?

Sorry KnightMcCall but when you consider that 50 odd years ago the pitches were like mud baths, boots felt like lead (not lightweight slippers of today) and the ball was more like a medicine ball, playing three times per week, plus the Xmas/New Year games, I don't really see much difference really, except the players today are more pampered and overpaid.

Maybe though, I'm just a silly old has-been, eh!!
"The intensity of the modern game puts a far greater strain on the human body"? Sorry KnightMcCall but when you consider that 50 odd years ago the pitches were like mud baths, boots felt like lead (not lightweight slippers of today) and the ball was more like a medicine ball, playing three times per week, plus the Xmas/New Year games, I don't really see much difference really, except the players today are more pampered and overpaid. Maybe though, I'm just a silly old has-been, eh!! Bantam sthn Ellatha
  • Score: 0

5:02pm Wed 17 Oct 12

KnightMcCall says...

Bantam sthn Ellatha wrote:
"The intensity of the modern game puts a far greater strain on the human body"? Sorry KnightMcCall but when you consider that 50 odd years ago the pitches were like mud baths, boots felt like lead (not lightweight slippers of today) and the ball was more like a medicine ball, playing three times per week, plus the Xmas/New Year games, I don't really see much difference really, except the players today are more pampered and overpaid. Maybe though, I'm just a silly old has-been, eh!!
I'm not saying it's a fact; i am saying that there is evidence. If you think how much extra ground a modern day player will cover and all at a much faster pace then it makes sense that recovery times are longer. Wenger & Fergie don't whinge about fixture pile up because they are whingers; they moan because though know that with less games that they will win more often (i'm not saying this is a good thing!). They know this is true because of the stats available and the data that is collected about player fitness; distance run in a game; number of passes, shots etc. The data suggests that three games every week is NOT good for player fitness and that recovery time is essential. Rugby League are finding the same issue is true with teams really struggling if they have to play twice in a few days.

I would love to here from an expert on the subject and it doesn't mean that modern day players are not more pampered or overpaid; i would definitely agree with you on that score.
[quote][p][bold]Bantam sthn Ellatha[/bold] wrote: "The intensity of the modern game puts a far greater strain on the human body"? Sorry KnightMcCall but when you consider that 50 odd years ago the pitches were like mud baths, boots felt like lead (not lightweight slippers of today) and the ball was more like a medicine ball, playing three times per week, plus the Xmas/New Year games, I don't really see much difference really, except the players today are more pampered and overpaid. Maybe though, I'm just a silly old has-been, eh!![/p][/quote]I'm not saying it's a fact; i am saying that there is evidence. If you think how much extra ground a modern day player will cover and all at a much faster pace then it makes sense that recovery times are longer. Wenger & Fergie don't whinge about fixture pile up because they are whingers; they moan because though know that with less games that they will win more often (i'm not saying this is a good thing!). They know this is true because of the stats available and the data that is collected about player fitness; distance run in a game; number of passes, shots etc. The data suggests that three games every week is NOT good for player fitness and that recovery time is essential. Rugby League are finding the same issue is true with teams really struggling if they have to play twice in a few days. I would love to here from an expert on the subject and it doesn't mean that modern day players are not more pampered or overpaid; i would definitely agree with you on that score. KnightMcCall
  • Score: 0

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