Bradford City have been warned to expect a Port Vale backlash today as they come face-to-face with a side promoted alongside them from League Two last season.
While City had to go through the torture of the play-offs, Vale earned automatic promotion after finishing third behind Rotherham United and Gillingham.
Mick Adams’s side have yet to win in their opening games in League One, losing 1-0 at Colchester last week to leave the manager fuming at his players and demanding a response today.
It’s something Bantams manager Phil Parkinson expects and believes his side are prepared for a pumped-up Vale side. And on the back of a 4-0 demolition of Carlisle United last week at Valley Parade, his charges will not lack confidence.
“Micky will have been disappointed to lose to Colchester last weekend,” said Parkinson. “It was a tight game by all accounts, but we know that they will be eager to get that first win (this Saturday).
“We are eager to get another win for ourselves though. We have to make sure that we go there and play in a positive frame of mind and that we are the team in the ascendancy come Saturday afternoon.
“We know that if our players play at their top level and with the hunger and desire that is required – something they have shown in all of our games so far this season – we’ll be able to give any team in this division a game.”
Last season, honours were shared between the teams, Vale winning at Valley Parade while drawing the return, but City won 2-0 in the JP Trophy.
Parkinson is not expecting any surprises from today’s familiar opponents.
“We know the majority of their team well from previous matches with them and I am sure they will feel the same about our players,” he said. “I don’t think there will be too many surprises to either team.
“They are similar to ourselves really. Micky has brought in a few new players over the summer to compliment what he had last season. Obviously Vale had a great campaign last year so Micky hasn’t needed to change things around too much.
“We always seem to have good games against Port Vale. Micky’s teams are always honest and hard-working, and that should make for a good game.”