Parkinson concerned with City facing up to backlog

An artificial pitch used by Bradford City at Woodhouse Grove School, which was badly damaged by the recent flooding (Picture: Ross Parry).
An artificial pitch used by Bradford City at Woodhouse Grove School, which was badly damaged by the recent flooding (Picture: Ross Parry).
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manager Phil Parkinson admits Bradford City need to rearrange a trio of postponed home fixtures quickly or risk losing ground on their rivals in the race for the League One play-offs.

The Bantams slipped to 10th with defeat at Sheffield United on Monday, but remain just three points adrift of the top six.

City have at least one game in hand on every other side in the top half of the table and two on Peterborough United, Coventry City and Gillingham.

The Boxing Day postponement against Burton Albion is one of three matches at Valley Parade that need to be rearranged. The others are against Southend and Barnsley.

The Southend fixture was postponed because of heavy rain on December 12, while Barnsley were due at Bradford on January 9 but that has had to be moved due to Parkinson’s men being in FA Cup third-round action at Bury.

Preliminary discussions have taken place with both Southend and the Reds over possible new dates but, as yet, nothing has been finalised and Parkinson is keen for that to change.

“I felt really sorry for our groundsman Mick (Doyle) on Boxing Day,” said the Bantams’ manager, who takes his side to Gillingham on Saturday.

“There was nothing that could be done to save the match, not after all the rain that came down in such a short period of time. It was unprecedented.

“It does now, though, mean that we have three home games to sort out if we are to catch up. We want to get them arranged, as we don’t want to be left behind.

“We have put in requests for Barnsley, and Southend. Southend weren’t keen on our first preferred date so we will have to revisit that one maybe when we have got Gillingham out of the way.”

The heavy rain that fell over Christmas has also left City unable to use their Apperley Bridge training ground due to it being flooded.

This and the Burton postponement contributed to a stop-start period for the players, something that Parkinson feels could have contributed to the disappointing manner in which the Bantams started the second half at Bramall Lane.

He added: “I thought there were one or two strange decisions out on the pitch and, at times, we looked like a team that haven’t played a lot of football. Which we haven’t. We really haven’t had the chance to do that. But we’ll dust ourselves down, get somewhere to train this week wherever we have to go.”