Barnet v Bradford City: Parkinson taking a gruelling route to survival

AS Bradford City prepare to eat up the miles in the coming weeks, Phil Parkinson has urged his side to put their foot down and secure League Two survival as quickly as possible.

Tonight’s rearranged trip to Barnet kicks off a gruelling run of games that will see the squad travel 2,532 miles in just 32 days.

It is a marathon schedule that includes visits to Dagenham & Redbridge, AFC Wimbledon, Aldershot Town, Crewe Alexandra and Plymouth Argyle before the end of March.

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Throw in four home games during the same period and it is clear Bradford are in for a hectic time and Parkinson is adamant his team must take advantage by racking up the points to go with the miles.

He said: “We still need to get wins on board as quickly as possible. We have a points total we are working towards and the next month being such a busy one gives us a chance to get there.

“It is all about staying out of trouble. The sooner we can secure our safety, the better for everyone as we can then plan properly for next season.”

Saturday’s draw at home to Hereford United means City have lost just twice in 11 games, a run that has lifted the club five points clear of the drop zone.

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With only Northampton Town of the bottom seven sides not being in action, tonight’s trip to Barnet is one where City are desperate to repeat the performance of their last away game when Torquay United were beaten 2-1 at Plainmoor on February 18.

Parkinson added: “There was a lot of good quality at Torquay and I was pleased with what I saw. The challenge now is to produce that week in, week out.

“There is no point doing it as a one-off and then that’s it. To be fair to the players, their performances have been better lately.”

Tonight’s game should have taken place on January 7 but was postponed due to City still being in the FA Cup.

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Parkinson added: “When a game is called off, I always want it to be played as soon as possible. What you don’t want is a backlog of games.

“Games in hand are great but they don’t necessarily mean points on the board.

“Barnet have done well. I saw them on Tuesday night (at Oxford United when they lost 2-1) and they looked a decent team. They have a good young squad and put in a good performance, but they were unfortunate not to be rewarded with all three points.”

Last six games: Barnet WLDLLL, Bradford City DDLDWD.

Referee: R East (Wiltshire).

Last time: Barnet 0 Bradford City 2; October 9, 2010; League Two.