Parkinson relishing testing spell for City

WHEN the fixtures were published during the summer, October quickly leapt out as a big month for Bradford City.

Bradford City manager Phil Parkinson

Starting with a visit to Walsall, the Bantams’ schedule for the month continued with the visit of Tranmere, long-time leaders of League One in 2012-13, and then a long trip to Crawley Town, the team involved in an infamous brawl against Bradford that led to five players being sent off on the night and another handed a red card retrospectively.

Then, after travelling to Sussex, City’s October schedule will end with games against two of the division’s pre-season favourites for promotion, Preston North End and Wolverhampton Wanderers.

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So far this month, Parkinson’s side have three points from six and the City manager admits to relishing the coming trio of fixtures. He said: “It was frustrating to lose like we did last week (1-0 at home to Tranmere) but you move on. For us, that means Crawley.

“There has been less time on the training field due to having played Tranmere on a Sunday but this is the start of a really mouth-watering week for us.

“We have some big tests coming up. Crawley have had a really good start, as have Preston and Wolves. But we are looking to push on and this is a great run of games to do that.

“Apart from the disruption of last week with injury and international calls, we are obviously pleased with how things have gone this season.”

The “disruption” included Andrew Davies being ruled out for up to four months with a knee injury.

With Rory McArdle away on international duty and Matthew Taylor unable to be recalled from his loan spell at Colchester United, Parkinson was pressed into moving Nathan Doyle from his preferred central midfield role to the heart of the defence.

Taylor’s loan stint in Essex ends after today’s games and Parkinson said: “We will discuss the situation with Colchester on Saturday evening. Both of us want to focus on our own games and then deal with it after that.”

Also missing today will be top scorer Nahki Wells, who damaged his ankle at the end of last month.

“Nahki is progressing well but, a lot of times with this type of injury, a player gets to 95 per cent fit and then there is a bit of work to do to get over that final hurdle. He is at that stage now.”