ELEVEN minutes. That’s how close Phil Parkinson came once-upon-a-time to taking Jose Mourinho to a replay in the FA Cup.
So, as the 47-year-old prepares to take his Bradford City side to Chelsea for next week’s FA Cup fourth round tie, he admits to relishing the chance to once again lock horns with one of football’s most charismatic figures.
“I have so much admiration for Jose, he is the top manager,” said Parkinson. “He sets up his teams to get the job done and I enjoy watching his teams play. For all their fantastic skill going forward, they defend properly and we will enjoy testing ourselves.”
Colchester, under Parkinson’s control, certainly tested the Blues back in 2006 when they travelled to Stamford Bridge in February, 2006, for a fifth round tie.
Chelsea were reigning Premier League champions at the time but that didn’t stop the League One outfit from taking a 28th-minute lead through an own goal by Ricardo Carvalho.
Paulo Ferreira equalised nine minutes later but it took Mourinho bringing on Joe Cole, Frank Lampard and Hernan Crespo to spark a home win, as Cole netted twice in the final 11 minutes to seal a 3-1 triumph.
Parkinson recalls: “We went to Stamford Bridge after waiting a long time for a big Cup draw. The whole town got behind the club on that day and it is one we will never forget.”
Wednesday night’s four-goal hammering of the Lions came despite both Parkinson and assistant Steve Parkin being forced to watch the final hour from the stands.
The pair were banished from the dugout after leaving the technical area during a bust-up between the two sides that had been sparked by Alan Dunne shoving James Hanson over an advertising hoarding.
Parkinson added: “We had phone contact with the bench and one or our scholars ran down, giving messages to them. I was just pleased that although it was a talking point, it wasn’t a major talking point because we got through.”
Before the glamour date with Chelsea, City’s focus returns to the league and tomorrow’s long trip to Yeovil Town.