Phil Parkinson will make sure Luke Oliver joins in City’s cup final experience – because he knows the agony of missing out on Wembley.
While Andrew Davies is confident of declaring himself ready for the February 24 showdown with Swansea, Oliver’s campaign has long been finished by a ruptured Achilles tendon.
Last season’s player of the year will be a spectator when the Bantams make history in the Capital One Cup. But Parkinson has promised that he will be included in their big day, so much so that he will be kitted out with a new Wembley suit like the rest.
The City boss can understand Oliver’s frustration after going through the same when he was a player with Reading. In 1995, he had to watch their play-off final against Bolton from the stand.
Parkinson said: “I had a knee injury and came back too soon. So I had to have complete rest for three months with it and missed the Wembley final.
“I still went to the game but it was very difficult. Blimey, every player wants to play there. I totally understand the scenario that Luke is going through. He’s a tremendous character and I feel for him but unfortunately it’s part and parcel of being a footballer.
“But we’ll make sure we get him a Wembley suit. It might have to be made to measure but the big fella will definitely get one!”
Oliver, who has played in an FA Trophy final before for Stevenage, joined the City squad for the warm-weather training break in Tenerife. He is progressing well but will not be ready to return until pre-season.
Parkinson added: “It’s a bad injury he’s got and you can’t hide away from that.
“But I said at the time that I’m really pleased with the physio department we’ve got and we’ll make sure he gets the best rehab possible to come back stronger than ever.
“It was great to see the big fella out with us in Tenerife. We had limited numbers down for it originally but when we beat Aston Villa I asked the chairmen to extend that to take everybody.
“People like Luke and Andrew Davies deserved to go.
“Luke is always bright when he comes in every day. It’s very difficult when you’re injured but him and Davo have been great around the team.
“When we go to Wembley, those lads who have played a part will be invited. It’s important we remember them.”