Yorkshire rivals on parade seeking an upturn in fortunes

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WHEN the League Two season kicked off, it did so in Yorkshire with the belief that a long overdue revival in fortunes was in the offing.

Three or so months in, however, and the reality is the county’s two representatives in the basement division have been guilty of under-achieving.

Rotherham United may have started well, Andy Scott’s side occupying second place in mid-September, but since then results have tailed off to such an extent that they travel to Valley Parade today in the bottom half.

Bradford, meanwhile, have endured an even more miserable first third of the campaign with the highlight being the club’s form in the cups.

Knocking out both Sheffield clubs along with Huddersfield Town in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy has served as the perfect tonic for City’s long-suffering fans, who also saw League One Rochdale beaten in the FA Cup first round last week.

Now, manager Phil Parkinson wants to see his side take that cup form into the league, where the Bantams sit precariously just above the relegation zone.

Parkinson, who is expected to step up his bid to sign Charlton striker Paul Benson on loan with a view to a permanent deal going through in January, said: “If you look at our form, it has been okay recently. There have been one or two poor performances but there have also been some good wins.

“Some of our better games have been in the cups and what we need to do now is take that form into our league games. We have been working hard on our shape since I came to the club and I feel we look stronger as a result.

“Players coming back from injury such as Simon Ramsden has also helped. But we want to see the improvements in performance turned into points.”

Nakhi Wells will be hoping to continue what has been a fine week, during which he followed last Saturday’s wonder goal against Rochdale by netting a similarly impressive goal for Bermuda against Barbados in a World Cup qualifier.

Parkinson added: “It was great to see Nakhi come on and score a stunning goal. His one for Bermuda looked great when I had a look on Youtube, too. It means he will come back full of confidence.”

Ricky Ravenhill goes straight into the City squad after the 30-year-old midfielder joined yesterday on a two-month loan deal from Notts County.

Millers manager Scott, meanwhile, has issued a ‘hands-off’ warning to clubs showing interest in striker Lewis Grabban.

The former Millwall striker, 23, has scored 11 goals since moving from Brentford last summer alerting scouts from Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United.

Scott said: “I would imagine there are a few clubs interested in Lewis but he’s going nowhere.

“It’s no good being six months into a season and getting rid of players. We want to be promoted – that’s the whole point.”