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Bradford City eye cup catalyst in league
City have been urged to feed off their Capital One Cup giant-killing energy to breathe fresh life into the scrap to escape League Two.
Phil Parkinson’s side are back at Valley Parade tomorrow looking to repeat their midweek heroics against Oxford.
With only one point from three league games, City need a victory to re-establish themselves in the promotion pack. The home crowd were a huge factor in taming Aston Villa and assistant boss Steve Parkin believes they have another big role to play.
Parkin said: “The fans have been absolutely fantastic this season and we’ve given them a lot of fond memories and good performances. If we can join hands together tomorrow, the team and the fans, then hopefully we can make sure of getting the points.
“Our focus is very much the league. We don’t want to drop down and if we get the win, we’ll be right up there again.
“It’s very difficult during this cup run. We just need to stay in touching distance, making sure we’re within a game of promotion or right in there.
“If we can do that, I firmly believe that with the players we bring in and back from injury and illness, and the momentum from the cup games, we’ll take this right to the end and make it a good season for everybody.”
Sir Alex Ferguson and West Ham boss Sam Allardyce were among the many well-done text messages on Parkin’s phone as City moved to within 90 minutes of a possible trip to Wembley.
As they once again push that excitement to one side, Parkin admitted it has meant so much for the crowd.
“It’s great for the football club after all the bad news we’ve had over the last ten years.
“You saw the faces of the fans and it means a lot to them to have the name Bradford City up in lights again.
“As a football person, who’s never done anything but football, the text messages I’ve had from far and wide, from the very top, have been really nice. You can’t help but enjoy it.
“We’ve savoured it and been in the limelight but as we all know it changes now. It is out of the news by tomorrow.
“We know it’s there and can’t get away from it but it’s only half-time and we’ve got three massive games before then.”
James Meredith saw the doctor again yesterday and is still struggling from his virus. Although the Australian is improving, he is unlikely to be ready in time.
Sources on the south coast claim Southampton left back Ryan Dickson will join City today on loan for the rest of the season.
The 26-year-old former Brentford defender last played on loan at Leyton Orient in April and has not featured in the Premier League.
New signing Andy Gray trained with City for the first time and is expected to be on the bench.
Oxford have suffered back-to-back cup exits this week but are unbeaten in seven games in League Two, winning their last three.
Parkin added: “Nobody should be fooled or expect us to be playing the same Oxford team when we won away from home. They were on a poor run and low in confidence.
“But they’ve got a good manager and I’m sure he’s got them in the right frame of mind as the results have proved. We’ll have to play as well as we did against Aston Villa to get three points.”
Rumours persist of interest in Nahki Wells from Huddersfield, Leeds and Wolves but City maintain that no bids have come in.
It is also understood that their pursuit of Swindon centre half Aidan Flint has been called off because of the League One club’s asking price.