Gillingham v Bradford City: Depleted City facing huge test of character

Bradford City manager Phil Parkinson
Bradford City manager Phil Parkinson
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WITH the play-off race entering the final straight, Phil Parkinson has described today’s trip to Gillingham as “pivotal” for Bradford City’s season.

The Bantams, following a mixed Easter that saw a 3-0 win at Doncaster Rovers followed by a defeat at home to Preston North End by an identical scoreline, sit ninth in the table.

Six points separate City from Chesterfield in the final play-off place, meaning there is now precious little margin for error if Parkinson’s men are to cap what has already been a memorable season with a late push for promotion.

Parkinson said: “It is a big game for us, there is no getting away from that. I’d say pivotal, really, when you consider our defeat to Preston and the injuries we have.

“We will be down to the bare bones and that makes this a massive test of character for us. We have come through them before, of course, and we are looking for another good performance down there.”

Christopher Routis will be suspended today following his red card for a professional foul in Monday’s defeat.

Bradford did appeal the dismissal but it was rejected by the Football Association to leave Parkinson with a selection headache at the back in the absence of Andrew Davies and Gary MacKenzie.

The Bantams chief added: “Tuesday’s game (at home to Bristol City) means we may have to juggle things around. Gary Liddle is an option with our appeal over Christopher’s red card having failed, as is Tony McMahon. He has played there before.

“Chris will be back for Bristol City, while Andrew Halliday is also getting there. Mark Yeates put his shoulder out again against Preston and that is something we will have to assess ahead of kick-off to see how he is.

“We might be better saving him for Tuesday.”