Scunthorpe v Bradford: City ‘owe it to the fans to finish with momentum’

Bradford City captain Stephen Darby ('Picture: Martyn Harrison).

Bradford City captain Stephen Darby ('Picture: Martyn Harrison).

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THE play-offs may have proved to be a step too far for Bradford City, but there can surely be little doubt that 2014-15 will remain long in the memory banks of the club’s supporters.

An incredible FA Cup triumph at Premier League champions elect Chelsea together with other stirring wins over Sunderland, Leeds United and Millwall have been something to savour.

Despite that, though, captain Stephen Darby still believes the Bantams owe their fans a strong finale after missing out on a top-six berth.

“We all want to finish strongly to give us a bit of momentum going into the summer,” said the full-back, who moved to Valley Parade in the summer of 2012 from Liverpool.

“Everyone wants to do just that. We don’t just owe it to ourselves, we owe it to the fans as well. They have backed us home and away in big numbers.

“We have three games left and we owe them some big displays.

“The season has had some highs and lows. Ideally, we would have liked to be in the play-off mix. But, overall, we have had some good games.

“Having said that, though, the season is not over yet and we need to finish as high as we can.”

Bradford halted a three-game losing run that had seen 10 goals conceded and none scored with a 1-1 draw at Sheffield United.

A much-improved display received its just rewards six minutes from time when Billy Clarke cancelled out Jason Holt’s opener.

City also had a couple of efforts cleared off the line before Rory McArdle was dismissed in the final minute, meaning the defender starts a two-game ban tonight.

Gary Liddle, rested at Bramall Lane, or Gary MacKenzie are likely to deputise for McArdle, who was also dismissed at Oldham.

Otherwise, manager Phil Parkinson is likely to select a similar XI to the one that battled so gamely on Saturday with Andrew Davies having come through his return after five games out.

On the display against the Blades, Darby added: “Spirits were lifted. We now have to try and build on this.”

Last six games: Scunthorpe United DWLWDD, Bradford City LWLLLD.

Referee: D Deadman (Cambridgeshire).

Last time: Scunthorpe United 2 Bradford City 0; March 31, 2007; League One.

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