Parkinson vows to gel good players into winning Bradford City team (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Phil Parkinson vows to work tirelessly to help new-look Bradford City squad take giant step in right direction
Phil Parkinson gives his assessment of the new season’s expectations for City:
It’s been a tough summer because we’ve had a massive change-around. You only have to look at the wipe board in my office to see that.
Plenty of new names have come in and a lot have gone. It’s very different from before. But it’s always good to freshen things up and this club certainly needed it.
For whatever reason, the club haven’t done as well as they should over the last few years and that needs changing. As I’ve said, we’ve got a big gap to make up from where we were last year.
We are under no illusions that it will be a big challenge for us. We are a lot of points short of the teams who have been up there. To bridge that gap is going to take a lot of hard work from all of us.
I firmly believe we are heading in the right direction. There are a lot of new players bedding in but the trip to Ireland helped that, getting the players all together in the same space for a week and creating that bond between them.
We’ve had to hang in there with a few of the deals. Players become available who weren’t earlier in the summer for various reasons so a lot of work has gone in to the ones we have signed.
We haven’t rushed to bring in anybody just for the sake of it. We feel all those players will help to improve the squad we are trying to build.
They are all good professionals who want to do well here. Now we have to mould good individuals into a well-balanced team and that’s the next challenge.
It’s been good for myself and Steve Parkin to watch the lads getting to know each other as a group, both in Ireland and during the friendlies. Hopefully we can gel into a strong team.
The expectation is there this season but we put that on ourselves. I’m an ambitious manager with ambitious staff and players and we all want to be successful.
We’ve also got to know that we’ve no divine right just because we’ve signed new players. There are lots of teams who have also improved their squad dramatically.
I can think of three or four who have been very active in the transfer market and other teams who are established from last season.
But I will say that we are stronger now than we were at this period last year in terms of quality of the squad.
People tell me that other teams enjoy coming to Bradford because they play well here – but they haven’t done that since Christmas.
We made it difficult for them. We were a team on the front foot and our crowd responded to positive play and we need to keep that going.
We’ve got players who will relish the challenge of performing in front of Bradford supporters, who we know will get behind the team as good as any in the country.
Home form is very important for us and we’ve got to make it uncomfortable. We don’t want teams looking forward to coming up here.
We started to do that last season and we will endeavour to do it once again.