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Luke Oliver confident Bradford City can repeat opening cup win in league
Luke Oliver hailed City’s impressive Capital One Cup victory at Notts County – and then roared: “Bring on Gillingham!”
Phil Parkinson’s men claimed the scalp of the League One side 1-0 thanks to James Hanson ’s superb extra-time winner.
It was the perfect way to warm up for the opening game of the League Two season at Gillingham this coming weekend, according to Oliver.
The towering centre-back formed a solid partnership with Rory McArdle, one of six new players to start the game, and believes the Bantams can now approach their league campaign with confidence.
“We’re delighted to get a win against a good League One team and it was a bonus to get a clean sheet,” said Oliver.
“If we can go to Notts County and win 1-0, why can’t we do it again at Gillingham on Saturday?
“I honestly believe that we will be competing at the right end of the table this season.
“It’s a tough start – but that’s what you want because you can gauge where you are.”
Oliver committed himself to City earlier this summer by signing a new two-year contract.
Last season’s player of the year said: “I’m desperate for success in my career and I always wanted to stay with the club. I had a good season last year and I’ve got a good rapport with the fans.
“They’ve been really good to me and everyone goes on about this club being in the dark ages and on a downward spiral for the last ten years.
“But it would be great to be in a team that finally moves in the right direction – and I believe we can do that this season.”
Parkinson handed debuts to Stephen Darby, James Meredith, McArdle, Gary Jones, Alan Connell and Garry Thompson.
All six impressed and the City boss could now have a major selection dilemma for the Gillingham game if Andrew Davies and Ritchie Jones are passed fit.
Goal-scorer Hanson twisted his ankle during Saturday’s win but should be available for the weekend.
Parkinson, meanwhile, is continuing to assess Zavon Hines and could organise a practice match this week for the winger and other trialists.
Ricky Ravenhill has been named as club captain, with midfielder Gary Jones – who enjoyed an outstanding debut as skipper at Notts County – continuing to wear the armband in his absence.