Parkinson hoping to bridge gap as Bradford head for St George’s Park

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A NEAR fortnight gap between matches at the most important stage of the season is not ideal.

But that is the reality facing Bradford City and all the other sides involved in the Football League play-off finals as the countdown continues to this weekend’s League One and Two promotion deciders.

For both Bradford and opponents Northampton Town, a place at Wembley was secured on Sunday May 5 – meaning by the time the final comes round on Saturday there will have been a 13-day gap.

To Parkinson’s men – who thanks to a gruelling schedule of 63 games have spent much of this term playing two games per week – such a spell of inactivity is unheard of and their manager has spent this week making sure his players don’t peak too early.

He said: “The lads are eager to get into it. We gave them a few days off (over the weekend) but we are right back into it this week. It is a case of ensuring we peak at exactly the right time and that is what all our work has been geared towards.

“The staff had a meeting the day after the second leg at Burton, when we basically planned how we would approach the final. It is important we get our preparations right.”

City have chosen to treat the final like a regular league game, travelling down the night before – albeit after stopping off at St George’s Park in Burton to train en route.

The club will also fulfil their media duties today, as is usually the case before a Saturday game. Northampton Town, in contrast, held their media day on Monday at 9am.

Parkinson, who continues to monitor the fitness of pacey winger Kyel Reid, added: “The lads have been looking sharp in training and I can tell everyone is determined to end the season on a high.

“We will train at Burton on the Friday and then carry on to our destination after that. It is somewhere we are familiar with due to having been there before.”