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Matt Duke and Jon McLaughlin vying to be Bradford City’s No 1 keeper
Phil Parkinson has thrown down the gauntlet to both City goalkeepers by insisting: Saturday’s starting spot is up for grabs.
The Bantams boss is giving no clues as to who will get the nod when the curtain goes up on the League Two campaign at Gillingham.
Matt Duke featured between the posts against Notts County and kept a clean sheet in a morale-boosting Capital One Cup win.
Jon McLaughlin , who was expected to be first choice and has the number one shirt, is back in goal for today’s reserve friendly with Leeds.
McLaughlin conceded an embarrassing own goal against Bury at Valley Parade 11 days ago but has otherwise looked solid in the warm-up matches.
But Duke handled confidently at Meadow Lane to push his claims to make the team-sheet at Priestfield Stadium.
Parkinson said: “To be fair to both keepers, I wanted to give them an equal amount of games. Jon played against Bury and Dukey at Park Avenue but I kept him in to play another game against league opposition.
“Dukey’s played very well for us but they are both competing for the place. That can only be healthy for the club going forward.
“Both of them have come back in really good shape and the competition is good – but that’s what we want in every position.”
On the injury front, Ritchie Jones returned to training yesterday and Andrew Davies is “very close” according to Parkinson.
“They are only little niggly injuries but you come back too soon and they can become more serious,” he said.
“As much as we want both players back, sometimes it pays to be careful.”
Meanwhile, City will not receive anything for Tom Cleverley playing for England against Italy tonight. There is no clause in the deal with Manchester United to cover international caps.