Parkinson aims to avoid Cup hangover

IT has been a season of notables so far for Bradford City and Phil Parkinson wants his side to round off their stellar week with another first this afternoon.

Namely following up a midweek Capital One Cup victory with a three-point haul in the league, something they have yet to do during their dream run in the competition.

In five matches immediately following their cup exploits, they have lost three times – including their heaviest derby of the season in a 4-0 derby drubbing at Rotherham on September 1 – and drawn the other two.

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With the Bantams without a win in three League Two matches and having slipped out of the play-off places, albeit on goal difference, victory over Chris Wilder’s U’s would be a welcome and important one ahead of their resumption of cup business in the northern semi-final of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy at Crewe on Tuesday.

On the game with Oxford, who are unbeaten in eight games in the league, Parkinson, who unsurprisingly has been linked with the Blackpool job (see front page) said: “It is another important game for us. Everyone at the club is on a massive high and we have got to carry that momentum into the game.

“We are in good form and confident and we have got to continue the way we played on Tuesday if we are to get three points.

“The team are enjoying their football in all competitions in front of our own supporters and it is a great feeling to have.

“We have got some big games coming up and the supporters are really with us and we have all got to show the same enthusiasm as we did on Tuesday when we did remarkably well.”

With City having already played 38 games this season and with plenty of games to go, Parkinson admits the arrival of veteran striker Andy Gray – who has signed an 18-month deal after joining from Leeds United – for a second spell at Valley Parade is a timely one.

He added: “It was a good opportunity for us, even though the lads up front have gone well. But Andy brings that extra experience and he will work well with the strikers who we have got.

“He is a player I know really well and I think he is a terrific signing for us.”