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Parkinson heaps praise on history-makers

23 January 2013

City boss Phil Parkinson was over-flowing with pride, praise and admiration for his brilliant Bantams as City rewrote the history books with a quite stunning Capital One Cup Semi-Final aggregate win over Premiership mainstays Aston Villa.

Leading 3-1 going into Tuesday night's second leg, a 2-1 defeat at Villa Park at the hands of Paul Lambert's men was enough to secure City a dream ticket into the Wembley Capital One Cup Final and move them within one game of a place in Europe.

City's place in the Capital One Cup Final sees Parkinson's men become the first fourth-tier side to achieve such a feat in over 50 years. The final will also be City's first in a major cup competition since the club's F.A Cup victory way back in 1911.

The achievement - arguably the greatest in the modern era of domestic English football - will undoubtedly go down as one of the club's finest moments in their long history so far.

Speaking after the hugely-memorable match at Villa Park, Parkinson acknowledged that it was proving quite hard to fully take in what the club had achieved on Tuesday evening and in the competition as a whole.

Parkinson said: "It is such a special night for the football club - you have to pinch yourself really to make sure what has just happened is all real."

"We said before the game that we are on the verge of history, and we've now gone and done it.

"It is a special night for everyone connected with the football club - the supporters, the players, their families watching them in the crowd - to be part of that atmosphere and such an occasion is something we'll never forget.

"The first half was tough for us because Villa are such a good side - they have so many really good attacking players.

"Once we got the lads back into the dressing room for half-time and calmed a few things down again though, we came out (for the second half) and we were a different side.

"I am so pleased for all of the lads - you could go through them all - they all deserve a mention.

"James Hanson, in particular though, hadn't trained for ten days and needed an injection in his broken toe, yet still went out an got us the crucial goal. What a story that is for the lad.

"The spirit of all of the lads on show tonight was excellent.

"When you have set-backs on a football field, you need real men to stand up and get you out of those situations. We certainly had that tonight.

"On the whole, we dealt with everything they could throw at us. 

"It is an incredible night and an incredible achievement for the football club. To get Bradford City - a League 2 side - into a major cup final is something words can't really explain it.

"I do think it will take a while for it to sink in properly, but we are certainly going to enjoy the moment.

"It really is beyond belief what we have achieved. This cup run of ours has made news around the world. 

"I've been told we've been on the news in China, Brazil, Russia and Australia in recent weeks. That is brilliant that the name of Bradford City is spreading.

"It's been a long and hard journey to get here. Three Premiership teams, plus going away to Notts County and Watford. 

"We've come through them all though, and come the end of February, we're on our way to Wembley.

"I think we could probably fill the stadium on our own at the moment!

"The supporters of Bradford have had some tough times over the last few years. They have suck with the club through some difficult periods and now is there time to go into work with a real smile on their face." 

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