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Stephen Darby: Promotion not cup is Bradford City priority
City have been warned not to let their Capital One Cup exploits overshadow the promotion push.
The Bantams travel to Wigan at the end of next month for their first appearance in the last 16 of the competition for 24 years.
But Stephen Darby, the extra-time hero of the last round, insists all thoughts must remain on their League Two campaign.
He said: “We’re all looking forward to playing against a Premier League club but we can’t afford to lose our focus.
“The league’s our bread and butter and that’s where we want to do well.
“There are a lot of games coming up before then and we have to concentrate on each one.
“Port Vale is a big one (today) and we’ve just got to think about that.”
Not that Darby has been allowed to forget his long-range winner against Burton – his first goal in senior football.
It was no surprise that the messages have been flooding in.
He said: “I’ve had a lot of people congratulating me but also come in for some stick as well because it’s been so long.
“The last one was in the FA Youth Cup (for Liverpool) against Sheffield United; a header from a corner. It was that long ago!
“It was a nice time to get it. I’ve been close once or twice before when I should have finished but I haven’t.
“More importantly, it was good that we showed the character to come back and get the win. It was a real team effort and we showed plenty of character and desire.
“We’d been unlucky to find ourselves 2-0 down. They scored from their first two attacks.
“We were knocking on the door all game. Once we got the first goal, we were on the front foot and pushing for more.”
Darby’s performance gave Phil Parkinson a selection nudge. Up to now, the Anfield graduate has played second fiddle to Rory McArdle at right back.
He accepts the keen battle for the shirt – something that is mirrored all round the team.
Darby said: “We’ve got a good squad and there’s a lot of competition for places. But it’s a healthy competition and keeps pushing everyone along.
“We all want the same thing for Bradford City, to be winning games week in, week out. Everyone’s got to be on their toes in games and in training.
“You can’t take any position for granted. We made six changes on Tuesday and still won the game, so that shows the strength in depth here.”