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Bradford City: Start is going to be pretty tricky, says Ricky
Ricky Ravenhill has vowed to come charging out of the blocks after City were handed a tough start to next season.
Phil Parkinson’s men kick off the campaign with a long trip to Gillingham, last term’s leading scorers in League Two.
And they also face two of the promotion favourites in the first four games – big-spending Fleetwood in the Valley Parade opener and Steve Evans’ ambitious Rotherham.
On the back of the Capital One Cup clash at Notts County, the Bantams could not have asked for a much sterner examination in the opening weeks.
But midfield scrapper Ravenhill sees it as a good platform to show the doubters that City will be a different proposition to the strugglers of recent seasons.
Ravenhill said: “We are taking it seriously this year and want to be up there with the best.
It is a tough start. Gilling-ham under-achieved last year but they are always one of the strongest sides in the league, especially at homeRicky Ravenhill
“After the last few years, a lot of people are going to be a bit dubious when we say we’re going to have a good team and do well but this is a good benchmark for us to show where we want to be.
“It is a tough start. Gillingham under-achieved last year but they are always one of the strongest sides in the league, especially at home.
“Fleetwood have got a lot of money but they haven’t proved themselves at this level yet. The pressure is on them.
“They look like this year’s Crawley and the bookies fancy them.
“Rotherham have signed some experienced players and they are moving into a new stadium so they’re going to be fired up.
“They’re all hard games but those are the ones you want to be playing in and should thrive on.
“You want to get off to a strong start and if we can get some good early results then people will take notice of us.”
Ravenhill admitted the arrival of the new fixtures – which begin with the Meadow Lane cup trip against his old club – has whetted his appetite. The players are back in the training ground next week for fitness checks to make sure they are keeping to the summer programmes.
He added: “We’ve all had a break and now your thoughts start turning towards coming back and preparing for pre-season. Seeing the fixtures out makes everything seem a lot nearer.
“We’ve got five or six weeks of pre-season to make sure we are ready to go. We know what’s coming up now and I’m sure we will be prepared.”
Parkinson, meanwhile, is not anticipating any transfer activity this week. He also dismissed rumours that City were looking at former Leeds midfielder Tom Taiwo, who recently quit Carlisle.