PHIL PARKINSON says Bradford City need to replicate Yorkshire rivals Sheffield United’s orderly midweek show at Tottenham – with a bit more besides – to have a chance across the capital at Chelsea.
Parkinson was impressed by the Blades’ organisation and diligence in a narrrow 1-0 Capital One Cup semi-final first-leg loss at White Hart Lane and is demanding similar aptitude from his side at Stamford Bridge today, while accepting that the margins for error are even more minimal.
Parkinson said: “I thought Sheffield United did great. They closed Spurs down and didn’t retreat back into their own half.
“They did a good job and Tottenham got the win, but the Sheffield United goalkeeper was not over-worked.
“It was the same as we do every week, but we have to be better; the discipline and concentration levels have to be better.
“Our positioning without the ball has got to be absolutely spot-on. If you don’t, you get exposed against top teams.”
When manager at Colchester in February, 2006, Parkinson saw his U’s side take the lead at Chelsea, during Mourinho’s first spell there before going down 3-1.
On that afternoon, he cajoled his Colchester players to show that they belonged on the grand stage at Stamford Bridge and to give a good account of themselves and not have any regrets. Almost nine years on, his message is the same to his Bradford side.
He said: “With how they are doing in the league and everyone looking at them as one of the best teams in Europe, it is a massive challenge for us.
“We are looking forward to it, though. We want to go down there and play well. If we play our absolute best and come away beaten then we will be happy with that.
“All you can do is play to the best of your ability on the day and that is what we intend to do.”