No luck of the draw for Bantams but Parkinson relishing challenge (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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No luck of the draw for Bantams but Phil Parkinson relishing challenge against Wigan
Phil Parkinson put a brave face on it after City once again missed out on a big-money Capital One Cup bonanza.
His team will travel to Wigan in their first appearance in the competition’s last 16 since 1988.
City have not faced a Premier League side for seven years – a 4-1 defeat at West Brom in September 2005 was their last taste of top-flight opposition.
But they would have loved the financial jackpot of drawing one of the five big boys, including Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal, who are all still in it. Instead they will be up against the club with the lowest crowds in the division.
Parkinson, though, insisted they will relish the challenge of trying to bridge a 57-position gap between the two sides.
The City boss said: “We’ve got everything to gain and nothing to lose. We’re in the last 16 and take a lot of credit for getting that far and now we’ll be up against a Premier League team.
“We will be massive underdogs. Wigan are a team who take this competition seriously and got to the final a couple of years ago – I’ve seen the quotes from their chairman leading up to their win over West Ham.
“But there is a lot of work to do before we get there and today we’re focusing once again on the league and the game against Port Vale on Saturday.”
Defender Stephen Darby’s winner against Burton on Tuesday was his first goal in senior football after 95 appearances. In Parkinson’s eyes, it was fitting reward for the diligence he has shown in training.
He added: “Stephen’s been so unlucky not to have got in this team.
“His attitude in training and the intensity he puts in every day enabled him to play the way he did. He’s a great example to everybody.
“He hasn’t once let his head go down or complained. He’s trained like a demon and I felt his all-round performance was outstanding.”
Darby has played every minute of City’s cup run, despite being limited to only two league starts.
Parkinson said: “I certainly didn’t sign Stephen not to play. I watched a lot of him last year, did my homework and I think he’s a terrific player.
“But it’s just the way it’s panned out. The back four of McArdle, Oliver, Davies and Meredith have looked solid.
“I’ll have to have a think about things before the weekend now but as I’ve always said, this season everybody is in this together.”
The tie at the DW Stadium will take place during the week beginning October 29.