Parkinson hoping City are finally on the rise

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PICKING out a lowpoint of Bradford City’s year is not an easy task.

There have, quite simply, been too many, whether it be injuries to key players such as David Syers or the way in which the club has flirted with relegation for more or less all of 2011.

Perhaps the most chastening afternoon, however, came against today’s visitors Crewe Alexandra on the final day of last season when City crashed to a humiliating 5-1 home defeat.

With uncertainty over who would be the club’s next manager and, more importantly, Bradford’s very future at Valley Parade, it was no wonder the Bantams fans slunk away into the summer in depressed mood.

Such a glum outlook has persisted for much of the past six months or so. Now, however, on the back of an encouraging haul of five points and three clean sheets from a tough trio of away games, manager Phil Parkinson believes City are ready to turn a corner.

He said: “Our win at Southend United last Friday has given everyone a major lift, especially as it came on the back of goalless draws at Gillingham and Swindon Town.

“It may have raised a few eyebrows but, to anyone who has watched us recently, it probably didn’t come as too much of a surprise. It was definitely not a result that came out of the blue.

“The challenge now is to take our away form into back-to-back home games (Shrewsbury Town are due at Valley Parade on New Year’s Eve). I want to see us be much more ruthless at home than we have been.”

City’s run of three consecutive clean sheets on the road has coincided with loanee defender Andrew Davies starting to show the ability that helped make his name when at Middlesbrough early in his career.

Parkinson is keen to hold on to Davies when his initial three-month loan stay runs out in January and the Bradford manager said: “We are talking to Stoke but there is no decision as yet. We will have to see what happens.”

Syers, the club’s 2010-11 Player of the Year, is hoping to be on the bench after making a scoring return to reserve team action in midweek following a serious knee injury.