PHIL PARKINSON insists Bradford City have their own “cup final” today – eight days before taking on Swansea City at Wembley.
The Bantams will make history on February 24 when they become the first team from the fourth tier of English football to play in a major final at the national stadium.
Such is the excitement in Bradford at the prospect of tackling Swansea in the Capital One Cup final that some hardy supporters queued overnight in freezing temperatures earlier this week to guarantee themselves a ticket.
Parkinson admits to being humbled by such tremendous support, but insists the only matter on his mind right now is today’s trip to bottom club AFC Wimbledon.
He said: “People may think that we’ll be picking the team (at Wimbledon) with one eye on the League Cup final, but nothing could be further from the truth.
“We want to win at Wimbledon, end of story. This is our cup final and we have to be ready.”
City make the trip south in heartened mood after beating Wycombe Wanderers on Tuesday to end a six-game winless run that had been threatening to derail any hopes of a League Cup-promotion double.
The 3-0 triumph at Adams Park was also notable for the return of Andrew Davies after three and a half months out injured.
With City’s Wembley date set to come into focus once today’s league game is out of the way, Parkinson admits the return of the former Premier League defender is timely.
The City manager said: “We were going to play him in the reserves on Wednesday but Andrew said he was ready and I asked him to give us 65-70 minutes. He ended up playing a bit longer but had no reaction.
“The good thing from our point of view is that the snow meant the reserve game was off. So, he wouldn’t have got any game time if he’d missed the Wycombe match – which would not have been ideal.
“Andrew was a big signing for us in the summer so it was a blow when he got injured. Everyone was really pleased to see him back involved at Wycombe.
“Having said that, the lads who came in while Andrew was out did do very well.”