Patience is key to counter threat of raiders

PHIL PARKINSON is preaching patience today as Bradford City prepare to host a team who have established their credentials as away-day specialists over the past year.

It is 23 games since York City last failed to score on the road, a record that played a major part in the club’s eight-year exile from the Football League coming to an end last May.

Since returning to the fourth tier of English football, the Minstermen have netted nine times in five league games and lost only once. They have also knocked Rotherham United out of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy and taken League One Doncaster Rovers to penalties in the Capital One Cup after 120 minutes had failed to separate the two teams at the Keepmoat Stadium.

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At Bootham Crescent, York’s record is less impressive with it being four games since they last scored on home soil – the club’s joint worst run in history.

Parkinson believes the way Mills sets his team up has been a factor in how well they have done away from home, hence why the Bantams chief is calling for patience from not only his players but also the Valley Parade crowd.

He said: “York play a 4-3-3 system that is more of a counter-attacking system. I have found in my career that it does help a team when playing away from home.

“At home, the onus is on you to play. There has to be some truth in it that their system suits them away from home. I don’t think they will change, it is a way they have played for a while.

“We respect York as they have some really good players. But, equally, I am confident that they will be looking at some of our players and thinking we will give them problems.

“What we will have to be is patient. Our supporters know that, at times, teams have come to make it difficult for us. Very few teams come and play 4-4-2 here.

“More often than not, teams play different formations that give them an extra man in midfield. They will have plenty of possession at certain times in the game.

“What we have to be is patient and not go diving in. We need to stay on our feet and keep our shape.”

Bradford go into today’s derby sitting just outside the play-offs after taking just one point from their last three games.

Parkinson added: “We need to get back going again, though I do believe if we perform like we did against Port Vale (a fortnight ago when the visitors pulled off a smash-and-grab 1-0 win) then I will be more than happy.

“As for York, they had a great season to win promotion. Like a lot of teams who come up, there is an expectancy to be top of the table.

“A lot of them have spent money in the past to get into the League. We have competed with clubs from the Conference in trying to get players and some of the wages are astronomical.

“A lot of the chairmen are chasing League status and are prepared to pay for it. So, there are a lot of clubs who, if they do go up, are more than comfortable with the step-up.

“Teams like Crawley and Stevenage have done that in the past. Gary will be pleased with the start, even though their home form is hindering them. On their travels, York are a good side and I am aware of their strengths.”