Bradford v Bristol City: Parkinson is intent on Bantams delaying party celebrations

MANAGER Phil Parkinson has urged Bradford City to be party poopers tonight against a side he considers to be the “champions elect” of League One.

Bradford City manager Phil Parkinson (Picture: James Hardisty).

Bristol City can clinch promotion with three points at Valley Parade after a fantastic campaign that has seen Steve Cotterill’s men dominate the third tier.

For Bradford, however, tonight is all about their own campaign and the need for points to revive a flagging play-off challenge.

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“Bristol City are the champions elect,” said Parkinson. “I fully expect them to win the league and deservedly so.

“But we don’t want them to have their promotion party on our ground. It is our job to postpone that party and let them have it elsewhere.

“That is nothing against Bristol City. As I said, they deserve to go up and I doubt there will be anyone who says otherwise. But we don’t want anyone else celebrating at our ground other than ourselves.”

City’s own push for the top six was undermined by the weekend defeat at Gillingham.

With none of the three teams above them in the table winning, it represented a missed opportunity to make up ground on Chesterfield, Rochdale and Fleetwood Town.

Parkinson added: “The fact we came away with nothing was incredible. The way we played and the domination we had, it was a real shame that we lost. I couldn’t fault our attitude and our approach, which was spot-on.

“We just didn’t take advantage when we had our period of dominance. It was made all the more frustrating by all the other teams around us not having won, either.

“It would have been great to make some inroads. But our focus is now solely on Bristol City. We had a great game down there and acquitted ourselves really well.

“I see them as being a Championship team with the players they have, and we have a good record against teams from the Championship.

“We beat Leeds, we beat Millwall after holding them down there and we matched Reading in one of our two meetings. It has shown that we can raise our game.”

Gary MacKenzie is again expected to start after playing through the pain barrier at Gillingham.

Parkinson added: “I was really pleased to have Gary back. It is just the attitude we need. Gary had some painkillers, rolled up his sleeves and just got on with it.

“We are at that stage of a season when we have players carrying injuries like Gary was. Our attitude is to just get on with it. That is all we know.”

Last six games: Bradford City DWLWLL, Bristol City DWWDDD.

Referee: S Attwell (Warwickshire)

Last time: Bradford City 1 Bristol City 1; January 11, 2014; League One.