Wells urged to repeat Bradford City treble display at Northampton (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Nahki Wells urged to repeat Bradford City treble display at Northampton
Nahki Wells returns to the scene of his greatest City triumph tonight with Phil Parkinson calling for another leading performance.
The Bermudian ran amok at Northampton in April with a hat-trick as the Cobblers failed to handle him and strike partner James Hanson.
City go back to Sixfields fresh from an impressive win over play-off rivals Cheltenham, when both frontmen starred again, and boss Parkinson is hoping that fond memories from last season will inspire more of the same.
He said: “That was a really big day for us. I remember Northampton pulled a goal back and we went straight down the other end and Nahki lobbed the keeper.
“It was a really good all-round display and tonight will have to be just like that. If we could perform like that, it would be great.
“If you’re a goal-scorer like Nahki and you scored a hat-trick there, you’ve got to be relishing it tonight.
“When he plays with the desire he showed on Saturday, he’s a very difficult player to handle. You can try to stop him but he’s always on the move, always closing down and proving a real handful.
“The work ethic of the team starts with the front two and Hans does so much for the team that people don’t notice.
“The work he does off the ball is not the glory part of the job but he doesn’t moan about it and the lads really appreciate it.”
Parkinson feels City’s front two are as good as any in League Two on their day – but will tell them both that there can be no let-up against a Northampton side smarting from a 4-0 thrashing at lowly Barnet.
“They are still young players and at the early part of the learning stages of their career,” he said. “When they play with the effort and commitment they showed on Saturday, they are very tough.
“They are both extremely good athletes. For Hans to be able to run and move as much as he can at 6ft 3in is very unusual.
“But they’ve got to keep it going and I’ll be reminding them that tonight is another test for us.
“That’s the way football is. If you want to be a top player, the games come just as thick and fast but there’s more spotlight on you.
“Every time you cross that white line, you have to perform to your maximum.”
Parkinson was at Underhill to see Northampton cave in against the division’s bottom team and he expects City to face a stiff response from Aidy Boothroyd’s men.
He said: “The 4-0 scoreline wasn’t a true reflection on the game. Northampton could have been ahead at half-time.
“They will play with a lot of energy and there will certainly be a reaction to that. They will be hurting and we’ve got to be ready.
“But if we play in the manner we did on Saturday and stay strong and committed, it gives us a great chance.
“It was a tight, compact performance from us and we need to take that into tonight. We felt there was a win coming but it was one we needed and it got us back on track.”
Gary Jones, sidelined for the past month, has an outside chance of being involved after resuming training again. He is more likely to come into contention at Burton next weekend.