Colchester v Bradford City: Parkinson confident travellers can cope

AS Bradford City’s 760-mile road trip inside eight days continues with a trip to Essex, Phil Parkinson insists his players can cope as they bid to maintain an unbeaten away record.

Bradford City manager Phil Parkinson

The Bantams travel to Colchester United buoyed by an unexpected 2-1 triumph over Milton Keynes Dons in midweek.

Coming on the back of two straight defeats at Valley Parade and having lost top scorer James Hanson to a thigh injury during the warm-up, City’s triumph over a team they face again on Tuesday night in the Capital One Cup was all the more remarkable.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Parkinson said: “It was a good victory against a very good team who were riding high and full of confidence. We worked so hard, both with and without the ball, and I was proud of the effort we put in.

“We face the same challenge today. People may look at Colchester’s league position but they are a good side. They beat Leyton Orient a couple of weeks ago and in midweek were 2-0 up against Sheffield United before they came back (with three goals in the final seven minutes) to win.

“I am in no doubt that we will have to be at our very best and take the same approach into the game that we did at MK Dons.”

Hanson tweaked his thigh before that win at stadium:mk and is expected to be out for at least a couple of weeks.

In his absence, Aaron Mclean and Billy Clarke are again expected to lead the attack after both scored in Tuesday’s win.

Parkinson said: “With all the travelling, we have had to tailor training accordingly. We trained in Essex on the Friday night, for instance, just to break up the routine.

“We had four juniors with us and three of those are likely to make the bench, which is great experience for them and good for development.”