PHIL PARKINSON is backing returning loanee Kyel Reid to get “fans off their seats” as Bradford City look to kick-start a season that has unexpectedly veered off course in the past week.
Two defeats – and two below par performances – have seen the Bantams slump from the fringes of the play-off places to the lower echelons of League One.
Reid’s return after 16 months away from Valley Parade is timely, the broken leg suffered by Paul Anderson a week ago in the home defeat to Peterborough United left Parkinson without three of his front-line widemen.
Josh Morris and Filipe Morais are the other absentees, which is why the Bantams manager turned to a winger who was his first signing on taking over at Valley Parade a little over four years ago.
Reid made 110 appearances during that first spell with the club and played his best football in what turned out to be the last season at Bradford.
Parkinson said: “Kyel knows what we are about, the fans know him and will get right behind him. He gets the crowd on their feet.”
Reid made 26 appearances for Preston last term as the Lancashire club won promotion via the play-offs.
This time around, however, he has played just three times. Despite that inactivity, Reid is in the squad and could even start today at Rochdale as Parkinson looks to give his side a much-needed lift.
Bradford are looking to bounce back from those defeats during the past week against Peterborough and Colchester United. Rory McArdle is back after missing the trip to Essex with illness and seems certain to return.
Further changes are expected with Parkinson deeply unhappy with the manner of the performance at his former club in Tuesday’s 2-0 defeat.
Brad Jones seems likely to drop out after errors in both of the two recent defeats, handing Ben Williams an earlier than expected return with next week’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy tie at home to Barnsley initially expected to be his first appearance since giving way to the Australian a fortnight ago.
Parkinson, meanwhile, will next week have to contend with three more absentees after James Meredith, Lee Evans and Reece Burke were all handed international call-ups.
Normally, three call-ups mean a game can be postponed but Burke being on a youth loan means a postponement of the home clash against Blackpool cannot be requested from the Football League.