Top six the target as Parkinson calls on Bantams to lay down a marker

Phil Parkinson.
Phil Parkinson.
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PHIL PARKINSON is calling on his Bradford City troops to lay down a marker to the rest of the division against the leaders this afternoon.

The arrival of the O’s is the start of an attractive quartet of games to see out 2013 – a year which has marked the renaissance of the Bantams.

They also face Peterborough, Rotherham and Swindon with the opportunity there for City to see out a vintage 12 months in style and firmly establish themselves in the top six.

Parkinson, who says his side’s recent break from action has come at exactly the right time, said: “It’s a terrific game for us. They have had a great calendar year, but so have we.

“It’s always good to test yourselves against the best in the division and they are there on merit. But we have been competitive in all our games this season and will be again on Saturday.

“It’s a game where we can put a marker down in the division – if we beat the team at the top.

“They come to town in confident mood, but equally we are confident after our performances of late.

“But I do feel the break has done us good because in the next few weeks, we are playing some top teams and we have a lot of games around Christmas. This is where we are going to need all the freshness in our legs.”

Parkinson says it’s no fluke that Orient are top of the pile and has cited their consistency in selection as being one of the prime movers for it.

It is something that Parkinson has tried to adhere to and is making no apologies for – adamant it’s the right formula.

He added: “In the second half of last season, they (Orient) kept the same squad together and they have kept that continuity and often teams who do that are the ones who do the best.

“At the ones where there is a revolving door in the summer, it can be very difficult to get that balance very, very quickly. Look at the Premier League with Tottenham, who have so many new players.

“We have had that continuity ourselves and that’s why we have done well in the main.”