City facilities crucial to Taylor

PETER TAYLOR has revealed Bradford City securing a new training ground would play a big part in persuading him to remain as manager next season.

The Bantams are keen to tie the 57-year-old down beyond the end of the campaign after an impressive first two months in the job.

City have won four and drawn two of Taylor's opening 10 games to persuade the Valley Parade board that he is the man to arrest the club's slide of the past decade.

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Talks began over a possible extension to his current short-term deal last month and further discussions are understood to have taken place earlier this week.

Taylor, for his part, is keen to stay but insists replacing the outdated training ground set-up at Apperley Bridge, which involves the players changing at Valley Parade before travelling the four miles in private cars, is of paramount importance if the club are to move forward.

He said: "Things have been going well since I came but I have asked for a couple of things to be sorted out with regards the training ground and the pitch at Valley Parade.

"The training ground set-up is definitely something that needs changing. At the moment, the players change at Valley Parade and drive to training in their own cars.

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"Then, afterwards, they have to drive back in muddy training gear. It is not the most professional of set-ups.

"What I want instead is somewhere where we can meet in a morning, get changed, train and then eat together. And we need the facilities available all the time, so if I want to put on a double session for the players then I can."

Taylor, who took charge of City on February 16, outlined his vision for the future at the initial talks with joint chairmen Julian Rhodes and Mark Lawn over a possible contract extension.

Since then, the club have made strides to improve matters with Lawn and Taylor having last week visited one potential site for a new rented training headquarters.

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The Bantams manager was impressed by what he saw but now wants to see progress made before making a decision over his own future.

He said: "My thinking is that the only reason I want to manager Bradford City is because I want to win promotion. To help us achieve that, we need a suitable training ground.

"It isn't a deal-breaker but, at the end of the day, I need to see enthusiasm on behalf of the club before I decide to sign a deal.

"If they say no to these things (the training ground and sorting out the Valley Parade pitch) then I will take my time over deciding whether to stay.

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"We have identified somewhere and if we can get it sorted then that would be fantastic for Bradford City.

"I am hoping for positive news within the week.

"To be fair to the pair of them (Rhodes and Lawn), I do appreciate the board are doing everything they can to help the club but this is something that I feel is important."

While Hull City manager, Taylor was instrumental in the East Riding club moving from rented training facilities at Hull Ionians Rugby Club to their current base at Cottingham.

If City can strike a deal with the 57-year-old to stay at Valley Parade, it should act as a big boost to a new offer of cut-price season tickets which the club are understood to be preparing to launch soon.

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Bradford sold 6,800 season tickets for the 2010-11 campaign before Christmas but are hoping to raise that figure by a further 5,000 with the new, slightly improved, offer.

Meanwhile, the Bantams have a host of injury problems ahead of the trip to the south coast with Michael Flynn (ribs) and Simon Ramsden (calf) definitely out along with Omar Daley (hamstring).

To add to Taylor's problems, both Matt Clarke (calf) and Gareth Evans (bruised foot) are also struggling to be fit in time to face the promotion-chasing Cherries.