Bradford City v Port Vale: Parkinson hails spirit of threadbare Bantams

Bradford City manager Phil Parkinson.

Bradford City manager Phil Parkinson.

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PHIL PARKINSON’S options may have been so limited in the midweek Cup defeat to MK Dons that he had to name five players on the bench with no previous first-team experience.

But the Bradford City manager insists the past 10 or so days – during which his side have travelled more than 1,100 miles and played three games – have underlined the tremendous character running through the Valley Parade squad.

Parkinson commented: “You learn things in adversity and we had to move a few things round. It is quite unusual (to have that many kids on a bench) and the loss of the key players hit us hard.

“But the spirit the lads showed was excellent.

“If I had been offered four points from six and a really creditable performance in the Cup at the start of last week I would have taken that. I would have been happy.”

City’s road trip included a win at stadium:mk in the league and a battling goalless draw at Colchester United before the Dons exacted revenge in the Capital One Cup.

Now back at home – where they are yet to win this season in four league outings – Bradford’s challenge is to bring that battling spirit to Valley Parade.

Parkinson’s options will, at least, be extended today by the return of Alan Sheehan from suspension. Matty Dolan is also back after a hip problem, while Stephen Darby could also return after missing his first game in 86 due to a tight groin.

Sheehan’s return could mean James Meredith drops out, while Christopher Routis, so impressive in those three games on the road, stays in.

Parkinson added: “Christopher has added another dimension to us as a team because of his passing out from the back is so good.”

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