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Bradford City's big chance to go fourth in cup
Phil Parkinson is eyeing City’s first shot at the League Cup fourth round for over 20 years after they were drawn at home to Burton in the last 32.
The Bantams missed all the Premier League big boys in yesterday’s Capital One draw. Instead they were picked out against the only other League Two survivors, who produced their own upset by beating Championship side Leic-ester 4-2 away from home.
But the Valley Parade clash, likely to be played on Tuesday, September 25, offers a realistic route to the next stage – and a much better chance of a more lucrative reward.
City have not got that far in the competition since 1989 when they beat Everton before going out in the quarter-finals at home to Bristol City.
Parkinson said: “It hasn’t been a kind draw to us in one sense but it’s a good chance to keep progressing.
“It’s not the money-spinning game we were looking for but it is a good draw for us, being at home against a team from our division.
“This club have not done well in cups in recent years but now we have the chance to make it through to the next stage for the first time in 23 years.”
With no glamour tie on the horizon to distract them, City’s focus will now turn firmly on tomorrow’s showdown with Rotherham.
It will be the first time that Parkinson has come face-to-face with Steve Evans since he was in the opposite dug-out for the infamous Valley Parade brawl with Crawley.
While Evans is sure to get a hot reception from the 2,200-strong away support, the City chief is focusing solely on the game.
“(He) is not really an issue for us. We want to concentrate on our team and how we’re going to play and nothing more than that.
“Anything going round that is insignificant to me. Steve (Parkin) and myself are working hard on making sure the team are physically, mentally and tactically prepared for this game.
“I’ve not been down to the new stadium yet. But I’m sure the pitch will be in great nick and there’s going to be a really good atmosphere. It’s what we’re involved in football for.”
Rotherham are favourites with the bookies to win League Two. But Parkinson denies any suggestion that an away win would make a real statement of intent.
“There’s the local rivalry and a big crowd there but, equally, no game is bigger than any other. There’s always three points at stake.
“I’m not looking at this as a benchmark fixture. Each week we play, we’re just building our reputation as a team and the individuals within that team.
“We’re right at the start of a very long season. So far we’ve done okay but there are areas we’ve got to keep improving on and we will.”
Parkinson is keen to build on City’s three-match winning run, the latest being Tuesday’s rousing cup comeback at Watford.
He said: “We can’t wait for another big game. We’re playing well and everyone is beginning to understand that if we put in disciplined performances, then we’ll get the rewards.
“When we play with a competitive edge, that quality we’ve got can come to the fore.
It means that on Tuesday, Garry Thompson’s goal was the winner and not just a consolation one because everyone had done their jobs.
“There’s a real buzz around the building after beating Watford with this game in mind.
“We’ve been to Gillingham and beaten Fleetwood at home. We’ve played some fancied teams as well as Notts County and Watford. This is another one.”