Fighting spirit of Bantams convinces Halliday to come back

Bradford's Andy Halliday scoring against Millwall.

Bradford's Andy Halliday scoring against Millwall.

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PHIL PARKINSON and his assistant Steve Parkin may be waiting to hear their fate after being charged with improper conduct by the Football Association over the melee that broke out between Bradford City and Millwall in last week’s tempestuous FA Cup tie.

But Andy Halliday, who is expected to re-join the Bantams on loan from Middlesbrough before the weekend’s glamour trip to Chelsea, admits to having loved how everyone in the City camp stood up for each other in the face of the provocative Londoners

“The gaffer and Steve apologised for getting sent off,” said the 23-year-old about the dust-up that followed City striker James Hanson being shoved over an advertising hoarding by Lions defender Alan Dunne.

“But, to be honest, I loved it. I love seeing everyone fight for each other. Surely, the fans want to see how much we’re prepared to work for each other and what it means.”

That fighting spirit and determination to stand up for each other will be tested to the full this weekend when City travel to the Premier League leaders in the FA Cup fourth round.

The Blues are chasing glory on four fronts this season and 
Jose Mourinho’s men are expected to make light work of Bradford.

For City, just getting to Stamford Bridge feels like they have hit the jackpot with the club expecting to bank around £400,000 from the tie.

In that respect, seeing off Championship side Millwall last week in a replay was crucial and means the pressure will be well and truly off on Saturday in west London.

That said, the Bantams will not be travelling merely to make up the numbers with memories of the glorious run to the 2013 League Cup final still fresh in the mind.

En route to losing against Swansea City at Wembley, Parkinson’s men claimed a trio of Premier League scalps as Arsenal, Aston Villa and Wigan Athletic all found the then League Two battlers too hard to handle.

Halliday was still at the Riverside as Bradford took on all-comers during a season that also brought promotion from the basement division but that doesn’t mean he can’t dream of another Cup upset.

“I am loving it so much here,” said the midfielder, who, providing a couple of contractual points can be sorted out, City officials expect to return to 
Valley Parade for the rest of the season.

“As a footballer, all you want to do is go out there and play. I am enjoying it.

“The run we have had since I have been here has been a joy to be a part of.”

Asked what has been the secret to City’s run to the Cup fourth round and a charge into the play-off places, Halliday points to that brawl against Millwall as an example of the ‘one-for-all’ attitude that runs through the squad.

“I don’t think I have been at a team that works as hard as we do for each other,” he said.

“That recent unbeaten run has been unbelievable.

“Even against Rochdale (a game City lost 2-1), when we were down to 10 men for so long, we deserved to win.

“It was important for me after that disappointment (subbed when goalkeeper Jordan Pickford was sent off after 12 mins against Dale), I was eager to get back out and do well. Scoring against Millwall did that.”

Parkinson and Parkin are expected to be fined for being sent to the stands against Millwall. Both clubs were also charged earlier this week with failing to ensure their players and/or officials conducted themselves in an orderly fashion and/or refrained from provocative behaviour. All parties had until last night to respond to the charges.

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