PHIL Parkinson is rightly applauded for setting the standard for every City manager since, says Graham Alexander.

The current Bantams boss has nothing but admiration for what Parkinson achieved at Valley Parade as the pair prepare to duel in the dug-out at Wrexham this weekend.

Alexander was at Wembley to witness Parkinson’s side win promotion in 2013 – the only time the club have gone up this century.

And he insists Parkinson and the team from that era have raised the bar for those that have followed.

“Phil’s lauded here and rightly so,” said Alexander. “The period he had here and what the team did was phenomenal really.

“That is the benchmark for future Bradford teams if possible to get that atmosphere and feeling going.

“They played in a way that triggered that response and we’re trying to recreate something similar if we can.

“But it takes a little bit of time, as it did with Phil.”

Parkinson’s first season in charge saw City finish six points above the drop zone in 18th – the same position they occupy now going into Saturday's showdown with the division’s best home record.

It took off for Parkinson in his second year at the helm and Alexander admits it is once again no overnight fix getting the current club back on track.

“Bradford City is a big club, certainly in League Two, and if it’s not going right which it wasn’t when we came in, there are a lot of things to put in place to turn it round.

“You make some good progress and quick progress in certain areas but it’s a bit slower in others. They become apparent in time.

“We’ve done some things we’re really happy with and glad we did and there are others that are staring us in the face that we have to improve.

“We’ll strive to make that improvement as quickly as possible.”

Alexander and Parkinson have faced each other on several occasions down the years, including the opening day of the season when MK Dons won a wild encounter 5-3 in north Wales.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Phil Parkinson with the League Two play-off trophy in 2013Phil Parkinson with the League Two play-off trophy in 2013 (Image: Newsquest)

Alexander said: “When I first started off in this job at Fleetwood, we played Bradford that season when he was the manager.

“That was the year they got promoted. I’d only become a manager in December 2012 and I actually went down to the play-off final against Northampton.

“I went down with Chris (Lucketti) and the Fleetwood owner to watch it. It was such a commanding performance to start with and the game was over by half-time.

“The year after we did it with Fleetwood the same way and then we obviously locked horns with Bradford again.

“I also came up against Phil again with Scunthorpe and Bolton and this season with MK and Wrexham.”