A CUP trip to Gigg Lane may lack the sparkle of a choice excursion to Stamford Bridge, but Bradford City are keeping things firmly in perspective.
A distinctly unglamorous trek to Millwall 12 months ago helped provide the catalyst for last season’s remarkable cup exploits, which saw Chelsea and Sunderland memorably toppled by City – one of the most memorable stories of last year’s competition as they reached the last eight.
On the fortieth anniversary of another occasion when Bradford made it through to the quarter-finals in 1975-76, when they bowed out to eventual winners Southampton, the Bantams are hoping that the humble surroundings of Bury can be the prelude to another glorious charge.
A marquee tie it may not be, but that will not stop hordes of City fans making the short trip, with away supporters designated both ends behind each goal at the Shakers’ home.
City chief and ex-Shakers player Phil Parkinson said: “When the draw came out, it probably wasn’t the tie that either side wanted given the Premiership sides that were also in the hat.
“But with the expected crowd and what’s at stake, I’m sure it will be like a traditional FA Cup tie.
“The lads always love playing in front of our away fans and we understand there should be a terrific away following in the ground.”
The tie pits two sides who are in need of a lift, with the Bantams reeling after a dismal 3-0 league loss at Gillingham and Bury having fallen away after an impressive start to the season, with David Flitcroft’s club having lost their last three matches.
Parkinson, demanding a reaction after the tepid display against the Gills, added: “We went through the Gillingham game and showed the lads a few aspects of where they could have done better. We also showed them clips where they have done well this season.
“We have half of the season still to go and an important FA Cup tie to play.
“Now was a good time to speak with the players and remind them of the ingredients needed to get back to the required performance levels.”