Bradford v Peterborough: Westley’s arrival has Bantams guessing

Bradford City manager Phil Parkinson (Picture: Bruce Rollinson).
Bradford City manager Phil Parkinson (Picture: Bruce Rollinson).
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PHIL PARKINSON admits Bradford City will have to be flexible today due to being unsure what to expect from Peterborough United following Graham Westley’s appointment as manager.

The 47-year-old former Stevenage and Preston North End chief will be at the helm of Posh for the first time at Valley Parade.

Westley, one of lower league football’s more colourful characters, has inherited a squad that has stabilised Peterborough’s season following a shocking start that cost Dave Robertson his job.

A 5-1 win at Oldham and a battling draw against leaders Walsall in the past two weeks under caretaker-manager Grant McCann would, under normal circumstances, leave City’s manager Parkinson expecting to face an unchanged side.

However, Westley’s arrival means Bradford are likely to be kept guessing right up until the team sheets are handed in around an hour or so before kick-off.

Parkinson said: “Peterborough have gone to Oldham in their previous away game and won 5-1.

“They have then come from behind with 10 men to draw with one of the early leaders.

“Grant McCann has galvanised the team with those two results so it will be interesting to see if Graham (Westley) comes in and sticks with the same formation and style or whether he looks to put his own marker on things straight away.

“When we have played Graham Westley’s teams before he has sometimes changed formations throughout the game, so we have to be prepared for that.

“We had a similar situation last week with Sheffield United, however, where we weren’t quite completely sure how they were going to play given the fact they had just come off the back of two home defeats.”

Westley’s appointment produced a mixed reaction among Posh fans so the new manager 
e-mailed season-ticket holders to promise his side would display a positive attitude and endeavour to make at least 600 passes and 25 shots per game.

The new Peterborough manager was at Valley Parade last Sunday on a scouting mission so will be fully aware of how well Bradford played during an entertaining Yorkshire derby.

Parkinson, whose side is unbeaten in five games, added: “If we can replicate our performance in that (Sheffield United) match against Peterborough, we will give ourselves a great chance of picking up a positive result.”

Luke James must sit out today’s League One game under the terms of his season-long loan switch from London Road.