Skip to main content Skip to site footer
Club News

One to savour

25 December 2013

Bantams boss Phil Parkinson reckons this Thursday's bumper Boxing Day clash with Yorkshire neighbours Rotherham United will be one that most supporters will have had marked down since the start of the season.

With the club expecting their largest crowd of the season at the Coral Windows Stadium this Boxing Day, Parkinson's men are set to take on fellow Play-Off contenders Rotherham in a mouth-watering festive fixture.

Given the close priority of the two sides geographically and in the league table then, Parkinson is fully expecting City's traditional Boxing Day fixture to have even more sparkle to it this year.

Parkinson said: "When the fixtures came out, I think this game will have been one that a lot of supporters will have had circled out on their cards.

"We are certainly looking forward to it with great anticipation.

"The games over the festive season, especially the home games, are always special occasions.

"The fact that we play Rotherham on Boxing Day - a Yorkshire rival, a team just ahead of us in the league and a side who we have enjoyed some great battles with in the past - does add that little bit more spice to it.

"We are anticipating a big crowd on the day and our supporters can really play their part in the match. They need to be our twelfth man.

"We need everything they have got - we need them to be ready to get right behind the lads and cheer every challenge, every positive pass and every bit of positive play we make.

"Our job as a group of staff is to make sure we prepare the players in the right way so that they are ready to play in the manner that will inspire our fans to give us that level of support."

Thursday's match will be the sixth time City and Rotherham have met in just over two years. Unfortunately for the Bantams and their followers though, Rotherham have certainly had the upper hand in recent encounters, winning the last five including November's F.A Cup tie at New York Stadium.

The Bantams chief is hopeful, however, that City will be able to make sure that run comes to an end by Boxing Day though.

Parkinson added: "We cannot hide away from the fact that in the last three games against them we have got beat, plus the games prior to last season as well.

"If you look at the last game, we were second best physically in the (F.A) Cup and we didn't work hard enough or compete.

"In the home game at the back end of last season though, I thought we played quite well and we were well in the game until a contentious penalty decision went against us towards the end.

"The game of the start of that season last year was like the F.A Cup game where we didn't compete physically against them and left ourselves too open to attacks.

"So in two out of our last three games against Rotherham we haven't really given ourselves a chance to beat them.

"We have to make sure that we go into this game on Boxing Day then with every player that is selected ready to roll their sleeves up and give absolutely everything they've got.

"Tactically, it will then be up to me and Steve (Parkin) to pick the best way to play against Rotherham.

"We have looked back at the way Rotherham have played, the way they have played against us and what we can do better to improve.

"We are determined to do that - we see Thursday's game as a great match to bounce back in after defeat at Peterborough (United)."

Advertisement block