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Parkinson aiming for cup victory

7 November 2013

The magic of the F.A Cup is still very much alive in the world of Bantams boss Phil Parkinson.

City enter this season's F.A Cup with Budweiser competition this Saturday with a first round tie at fellow Sky Bet League 1 side Rotherham United.

For some teams, the F.A Cup can be seen as a chance to give some of their fringe players a run out or as an opportunity to rest some of their more senior squad members.

Parkinson, however, says that, despite the prospect of there being one or two changes to his starting line up for the trip to New York Stadium, his side will still be going all out for victory against their Yorkshire neighbours, and he will pick a team to reflect that.

The Bantams manager said: "We are certainly taking this game seriously - we want to win it.

"I haven't decided totally on the team because we've had a few lads who have missed training in the early parts of this week. They have trained today (Thursday), but I just want to have a proper look at everyone before we pick the team."

Parkinson continued: "The F.A Cup is the most special club cup competition in the world. Everyone, myself included, has fond memories of watching F.A Cup matches growing up. Probably most of the matches I remember watching on television during my childhood were big F.A Cup ties.

"To now be involved in the F.A Cup as a manager and previously as a player, it is a fantastic part of being in professional football.

"For me, when you wake up on the morning of an F.A Cup tie, there is still a special feeling to it.

"If you can get into that third round draw, I think that is probably the most exciting draw in football.

"Obviously we have a lot of work to get there, but that has to be our aim."

Saturday's cup tie will be the latest game in a series of recent derby contests between the two sides, with previous Rotherham-Bradford fixtures usually producing plenty of action, excitement and endeavour.

Sadly for the City though, Rotherham have had the better of recent matches - winning the last four - including the Bantams' maiden visit to New York Stadium last September when Steve Evans' Millers ran out 4-0 winners.

It goes without saying then, Parkinson is keen for City to redress the balance back in their favour somewhat come Saturday evening.

Parkinson added: "We have had some really competitive fixtures with Rotherham - unfortunately we haven't come out on top in these matches in recent years.

"This tie gives us an opportunity to put that right, however.

"A lot of our matches with Rotherham have quite been feisty affairs, and I'm sure this will be no different.

"We have to make sure we go to New York Stadium and play a lot better than we did last time.

"We didn't play with enough discipline that day - the team was too open.

"The back four was too deep and the wide players didn't recover quickly enough. It was an open game and we got punished for it.

"Obviously that sort of day didn't happen to us too often last season, but it was game that left us feeling that we needed to give reminders to one or two of the lads about what is important in a game of football.

"Saturday will another competitive fixture between to evenly-matched teams.

"Rotherham have some good players but I'm sure (Rotherham United manager) Steve Evans and his staff will be looking at our key players and be concerned at how they are going to stop them.

"Both teams seem to have mirrored each other over the last twelve months or so. Both sides have been promoted recently and both can be reasonably happy with their starts to this season.

"Although Rotherham are in our division, we won't treat this tie any differently. We won't treat it as a league match or a cup match, we'll simply treat it as a football match.

"We go into every football match trying to win it, and this Saturday will be no different."

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