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Apprentices added

29 October 2012

With injury, illness and suspension starting to stretch City's squad, Bantams boss Phil Parkinson has confirmed that four apprentices will make up part of his travelling party for Tuesday's mouth-watering Capital One Cup Fourth Round tie at Wigan Athletic.

Scott Brown (pictured) and Forrayah Bass, both of whom have been named on the bench for City's first-team already this season, will be joined by fellow scholars Connor Erangey and Louie Swain on the coach to Wigan's DW Stadium tomorrow afternoon.

Erangey is a left winger, while Swain is a centre forward.

Parkinson's need to tap into the Bantams' youth ranks has been required with several of City's first team squad players unavailable for the trip to the Premier League side.

After suffering injuries at Burton Albion, defensive pair Luke Oliver and Andrew Davies are definitely out as they await the results of scans on achilles and knee problems respectively. 

Davies' injury isn't believed to be too severe, but Parkinson admits he fears the worst for Oliver.

Along with the centre half pairing, Ritchie Jones is set to miss out due to a stomach virus, while Craig Forsyth is cup-tied after playing for Watford against City earlier in the competition.

With Ricky Ravenhill also set start his three-game ban at Wigan following his Burton red, fellow midfielder Gary Jones is a doubt to feature as Parkinson looks to ease him back into action following his recent back problem.

Speaking about the inclusion of four apprentices among his Wigan match squad, Parkinson said: "It will be a good experience for them to be involved."

"It's always a good learning experience to travel with first team. Some of them may even get on the bench at least.

"To sample the atmosphere that is going to be around the stadium tomorrow - what an occasion it will be for three or four of those lads."

On the subject of City's absentees, Parkinson said: "Ritchie went down ill yesterday - he has a stomach bug. With all sort of viruses like that, you have to be careful it doesn't spread so we've kept him away from the training ground today.

"At the moment, Ritchie is a definite 'no' for tomorrow. We'll look to get him in on Thursday and hope he's better then.

"We will probably know more about Luke and Andrew later today or tomorrow (Tuesday), but Olly's injury certainly looks a serious one. Our medical staff have looked at it and feel it could be a bad one for him.

"Andrew has come in and looked a bit better today but he too is going to have to be checked over."

One positive aspect to come out of Saturday's injury-hit encounter with Burton was that it gave Parkinson a chance to learn a bit more about some members of his squad, in particular Irish defender Carl McHugh.

A half-time substitute at the Pirelli Stadium, McHugh performed commendably on his league debut for City against the Brewers and could now be in line to keep his place in central defence at Wigan.

Parkinson added: "I thought Carl, along with Stephen Darby, came on and did terrific (at Burton)."

"Carl has worked so hard on the training ground recently and really kept his standards up high.

"When you do that, you normally have the ability to cope with first team football. I think supporters saw that with Carl on Saturday."

Despite a seemingly growing list of absentees for City, one player back in the ranks for this Tuesday will be top scorer Nahki Wells.

The Bermudian striker played a huge role in booking the Bantams' place in the fourth round, scoring twice against Burton Albion in City's previous League Cup tie, and Parkinson has hinted he could look to the striker to do some more damage at Wigan.

Parkinson said: "Nahki's back in the picture and available to us once again.

"With the way he was playing before his suspension, he'll be very unlucky if he isn't selected tomorrow."

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