Southend United v Bradford City: Parkinson hopes City can follow rival’s lead

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PHIL PARKINSON believes tonight’s opponents Southend United are a shining example of how Bradford City’s fortunes can be revived with hard work and plenty of effort.

The Bantams travel to Roots Hall hoping to spring a surprise on the high-flying Essex club and boost their own hopes of pulling away from trouble near the bottom of League Two.

City’s manager is the first to admit Southend will be a tough test for his players, Paul Sturrock’s side going into tonight’s game sitting second in the table and knowing a 3-0 victory will be enough to depose leaders Crawley Town on goal difference. And it is the size of the task facing Bradford tonight that gives Parkinson hope in his attempts to revive the fortunes of the West Yorkshire club.

He said: “Southend have done well and are up there. You would fancy them to stay the course. They have had a slight dip of late, but look at the team and you can see they are not bad.

“I saw them at the start of last season, playing a pre-season game against Dartford and Paul Sturrock basically didn’t have any players.

“He could just about get 11 out on the pitch.

“It took that club a while to get going but they have certainly done that this season. It shows what can be done.”

On the task facing City tonight, Parkinson added: “It is another challenge for us.

“But we went down to Gillingham last time and put in a good display.

“A similar style of performance will give us a chance.”

Last six games: Southend United WDDLLL, Bradford City WLDWLD.

Last time: Southend United 4 Bradford City 0; April 15, 2011; League Two.

Referee: G Scott (Oxfordshire).