Bradford City v Wycombe Wanderers: Bradford ‘must go in where angels fear to tread’

Phil ParkinsonPhil Parkinson
Phil Parkinson
FINDING sufficient time in this busiest of seasons to get the players together for a team meeting has not been easy for Bradford City.

Last Sunday, however, manager Phil Parkinson did just that as the players were called in despite having spent much of the previous week on the road with back-to-back trips to Torquay United and Exeter City.

It was the second of those games in Devon – Saturday’s 4-1 defeat at St James’ Park – that prompted the get-together and Bantams boss Parkinson hopes to see a big improvement from his side 
tonight at home to Wycombe Wanderers.

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He said: “We owe it to ourselves and our supporters to ensure we put in a spirited performance each week. But in the first half at Exeter, we did dip below that expectation.

“We felt a need to get everyone in on Sunday. Sometimes, if you leave it until Monday on the day before a game then it becomes a long day.

“Obviously, we’d had a long journey, but I wanted a constructive meeting about what we are going to do between now and the end of the season.

“Did Exeter play fantastic free-flowing football? No, they played the conditions and the division. Their manager said that afterwards. For us, in the first half we didn’t play either the conditions or division like Exeter did.

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“The lads know what we want. It isn’t extraordinary to have a meeting on a Sunday. It is often just a case of finding the team for an hour of reflection, as a team and as individuals.

“We watched the (Exeter) DVD and some of the crosses that came in were outstanding. But no one was there to put them in. We need people flying into the six-yard box with more determination.

“Now, we need people to go in where angels fear to tread. That is the difference. We need that edge.”

The play-offs look a long way off for City right now, but Parkinson still wants his side to finish strongly.

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James Meredith will return to the starting line-up tonight after missing the last 11 weeks through glandular fever, while Kyel Reid also seems set to be unleashed as Bradford face Wycombe in the first of three consecutive home games in the next 11 days.

Nathan Doyle, however, is a doubt with a dead leg as City chase a first home win in six outings.

Last six games: Bradford City DWDDDL, Wycombe Wanderers LLWWLD.

Last time: Bradford City 1 Wycombe Wanderers 0; February 12, 2011; League Two.

Referee: E Ilderton (Tyne & Wear).