Tranmere v Bradford City: Parkinson determined to finish on a high note

Phil Parkinson.
Phil Parkinson.
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WHEN Bradford City met Tranmere Rovers earlier in the season, it was an ugly affair that ended with the respective managers squaring up to each other on the touchline.

A contentious early incident that saw Ian Goodison appear to flatten Kyel Reid with his elbow but fail to be red-carded set the tone for a feisty contest that was settled by Rovers striker Ryan Lowe in the second half.

At the time, City were fourth in the table and the Birkenhead club bottom. Much has changed since then, not least Ronnie Moore having left Prenton Park as manager.

But the memories of that day in October are likely to burn brightly in the minds of today’s visitors when they take to the field for what is a crucial game for Tranmere.

Lose and League Two beckons, while even victory will leave the home side hoping for favours from elsewhere as they look to overhaul either Crewe Alexandra or Notts County.

Bantams manager Phil Parkinson said: “We want to go there and put in a proper performance. We understand Tranmere have got a lot to play for but so have we.

“We want to finish as high as possible and the best way to do that is to win.”

Parkinson’s intent to finish the season on a high is perhaps best illustrated by the City manager undertaking a personal scouting mission to watch Tranmere recently at Crawley Town.

James Hanson, who has featured just once since March 25, will again not be risked as Bradford continue to manage the striker’s back problems.

Andy Gray also left the club this week by mutual consent after his 18-month return to Valley Parade failed to work out. The forward started just two games this season and he was substituted in both.