Bradford City v Walsall: Bantams are ready to dust themselves down

'We are not going to rely on hard-luck stories,' says the play-off chasing Bradford City manager Parkinson.
'We are not going to rely on hard-luck stories,' says the play-off chasing Bradford City manager Parkinson.
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AN advantage over seventh-placed Barnsley that a week ago stood at a healthy five points may have since been cut to just two but Phil Parkinson insists no-one at Bradford City is feeling anxious.

The Bantams are locked in an almighty fight for a play-off place, as just three points separate Millwall in fourth place from Paul Heckingbottom’s Reds in seventh with three games to go.

Walsall, today’s visitors to Valley Parade, sit one place and a couple of points above the Lions in the table and the target for the Bantams is bouncing back from a disappointing week that has yielded just one point from trips to Shrewsbury Town and Coventry City.

Bantams chief Parkinson said: “It has been a frustrating week because we haven’t got what we deserved, certainly not in terms of the performances in the two games.

“But what we are not going to do is rely on hard-luck stories. Or start to feel sorry for ourselves. That isn’t how we do things here and it won’t be starting now.

“Instead, we dust ourselves down and get ready to go again in what is a terrific game for us.”

Steven Davies starts a three-game ban and Jamie Proctor played through the pain barrier on Tuesday night after suffering a back strain, meaning Parkinson could be forced into at least one change up front.

James Hanson, whose last start came on the first weekend of March, is standing by to replace Proctor, who will be given as long as possible to prove his fitness.

Despite the frustrating week on the road, City go into today’s game with the Saddlers on the back of five straight wins at Valley Parade. With only one of their final three games away, Parkinson appreciates home comforts could be crucial.

He added: “We are on a good run, albeit with having drawn one and lost one in the past week. Sometimes, these things just happen. The opposition scored with about their only effort in each game and that is just how it is sometimes.

“The quality we have shown means we go into the Walsall game looking to bounce back. We are in a good position, our fate is in our own hands and we shouldn’t forget that even at the end of a frustrating week.

“A hell of a lot of teams in this division would swap places with us right now. We have worked hard to get into this position and I now want to see the same level of commitment in these final few games to get us where we want to be.”