Bantams chomping at bit, claims Parkinson

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Phil Parkinson has challenged his Bradford City side to continue their perfect start to the season at Valley Parade.

In three home games so far this season, the Bantams have picked up a maximum nine points, netting 10 goals and keeping three clean sheets.

With the midweek return of Andy Gray after two months out with a broken arm, there is an air of optimism around City as they sit fifth in League One.

“The lads are chomping at the bit in training,” said Parkinson, who comes up against the club where he made his name as a manager, Colchester United.

“If anything, we are having to hold them back in training slightly.”

Parkinson watched a depleted Colchester – without strike duo Freddie Sears and Sanchez Watt –beaten at Coventry City last weekend, but is not fooled into thinking today will be easy.

“It is going to be another tough game at the weekend for us,” said Parkinson. “Colchester had a lot of players missing last Sunday at Coventry and we know they are a better side than that.

“We will be focusing on Colchester’s strengths and weaknesses but also on what we need to do to put in another good performance.

“You cannot win any game at 75 or 85 per cent. We need to be right on it from minute one to the last minute.

“I think the supporters seem to really have a connection with the team we have here now at the moment. I think it is something that has stemmed from last season.

“When you have 13,000, 14,000 people creating that sort of atmosphere, you have to enjoy it because there aren’t too many times in your career when a home support is so behind each and every player.”

The much-travelled Gray, 35, whose clubs include Leeds United, Barnsley and Sheffield United, played 75 minutes of a private friendly with York City on Tuesday.

“Andy has done everything he can to keep himself in shape while he was out,” said Parkinson. “He played about 75 minutes at York and it is good to have him back.

“He is back now with us doing full contact training and all he can do now is keep working as hard as he has been doing.”

He could be named a substituted today with a couple of un-named players carrying knocks.