Bradford City manager Phil Parkinson is expecting a difficult game when Southend United visit Valley Parade today.
Currently occupying eighth place in League One, Southend have outlined their credentials as a potential play-off chasing side.
City are only a place behind and are on an excellent run of form, their 2-1 loss against Walsall two weeks ago notwithstanding. Prior to that game, they had not lost since September 29, against Colchester.
City regained their momentum with a 4-0 win against Chesham United in the FA Cup, but Parkinson wants his players to be ready for a difficult game.
He said: “Southend are a good side.
“Phil [Brown] enjoyed good success with them last season getting them up through the play-offs, and they have taken to League One as well.
“They are a hard-working and well-organised side who have had some good recent results on their travels.
“You just have to look at the table to see how closely matched a lot of teams are and how competitive Saturday’s game should be.”
Parkinson will face a familiar face in the opposition dugout when Brown walks out. The Bradford manager was in charge at Hull when Brown joined the club as a first-team coach in 2006, and it was Parkinson who Brown replaced as caretaker before taking the job permanently in January 2007.
Parkinson continued: “I have worked with Phil before at Hull City and Steve Parkin has worked with him and Brian Horton during a different spell at Hull as well.
“We know them well and we know they will be dangerous opponents.
“Phil will be bitterly disappointed to have gone out in midweek in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, especially being so close to a trip to Wembley, but they have been picking up some good results in the league recently.”
City have had the date for their upcoming FA Cup tie against Bury confirmed. They will face their League One opponents on January 9, 2016.