Ireland trip will help us click in time for big kick-off, says Bantams midfielder Jones (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Ireland trip will help us click in time for big kick-off, says Bantams midfielder Gary Jones
Gary Jones believes City’s “dirty habits” in Ireland can lead to winning ones when it really matters.
The Bantams have been in the Emerald Isle since Sunday and play the first game of their tour tonight against Wexford Youths.
Phil Parkinson’s squad are based in County Meath for a week and midfielder Jones sees it as the perfect opportunity to get to know more about their team-mates – good and bad.
Jones said: “It’s great for team bonding. Everyone living under the same roof can only be good as it brings people closer together. I think the manager and Parky (Steve Parkin) want that. You get close as a group and that has got to be a positive thing going forward into the season.
“You get to know all about the other lads and find out their dirty habits! You see which ones are always snoring and things like that.
“But it’s all part of it which makes this a good trip. Bonding like this can only help towards having a successful season.”
Facing League of Ireland First Division opposition will be a step up from Saturday’s opening friendly, when City crushed Tadcaster Albion 7-1.
Having changed the entire team at half-time, Parkinson will look to give some players an hour at Ferrycarrig Park before reversing it to give the rest the bulk of the game at Bray at the weekend.
Jones added: “It’s always nice to get back on the pitch. We’d done two and a half weeks of hard graft before Saturday so we all enjoyed playing a game.
“I think we played really well. It’s always good to get an early goal and the legs were strong.
“This is one of the fittest groups I’ve ever been involved in. You’ve got the young lads to go with a bit of experience and everyone is hungry for success.
“Games at this stage are always a good test. Everyone expects you to win by four or five and luckily we did at Tadcaster but you need to stamp your authority early on.
“I’ve been warned to expect a couple of tough games in Ireland. I’ve never been here before but a few Irish lads I’ve been talking to have said it won’t be easy.
“But that is what pre-season is all about. Working hard together, getting to know the rest of the lads and building up towards the start of the league.”
City can bank on some travelling support in Wexford and Jones is already well aware of the strength of backing the team will get in the campaign ahead.
Plenty made the short trip to Tadcaster last weekend and the vastly-experienced schemer was left in no doubt about the huge level of expectation.
He said: “You can see they want it desperately but so do we. I was talking to a few of the fans and they are really excited about this season.
“There were nearly 1,000 there for the first game. That type of turn-out gives us all a reminder of the support we know we’re going to get and we’d love to reward them with some success.”