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Club News


23 January 2015

Club News


23 January 2015

Bantams boss Phil Parkinson says his side will be focused purely on putting on the best performance they can, not simply keeping the score down, when they make the trip to Stamford Bridge this Saturday (24 January 2015).

Following their emphatic replay win over Championship side Millwall just over a week ago, Parkinson's men face the exciting task of trying to pits their wits against the current Premier League leaders Chelsea in the F.A Cup Fourth Round. 

Given Chelsea's awesome strength in depth and their array of world class players, Jose Mourinho's Blues are understandably strong favourites to progress at Stamford Bridge at the weekend.

Regardless of whether Chelsea do indeed end up going through to Monday's fifth round draw or not though, Parkinson says it is important that City play with no fear, embrace the occasion, and leave it all on the pitch come Saturday 3:00pm

Parkinson said: "It is not easy to guess what team Chelsea will go with but we have worked on how we want to play throughout this week.

"From the first minute to the last, we must stick to our game-plan no matter how we are playing and what the score is.

"Our discipline and positional sense, especially when we lose the ball, has to be spot-on.

"We want to be competitive and compete all over the pitch right up until the final whistle.

"Bradford as a club, we are all about honesty and endeavour and we want to go down there and give a good account of ourselves.

"We've sold 6,000 tickets for the match but we could have sold 20,000 tickets in all honesty.

"To me, that just shows what this club means to the city of Bradford.

"Chelsea are a massive challenge - they are one of the best teams in Europe - but we are looking forward to this exciting challenge ahead.

"All of the players and staff wanted this tie when the draw came out and now we have to enjoy it.

"No matter what the score is, if we play to the best of our ability, then we'll be happy at the end of the game."
Whatever the final score might be come Saturday evening, City's trip to Stamford Bridge should bring back some happy memories of times gone-by for some in the Bantams camp.

For those around during the 2012/2013 campaign, the Chelsea match will rekindle thoughts of taking on other Premier League giants, such as Arsenal and Aston Villa, while for Filipe Morais and Billy Knott, this weekend is a chance to visit a former club once again. 

Parkinson said: "We have all the staff and about five or six players still here from the squad of a couple of years ago, so that will help in terms of having that experience already of playing in front of larger crowds and on a bigger stage.

"This group also has the experience of playing in a local derby against Leeds United earlier this season and dealing with all the pressure that comes with that.

"It will be great for Billy and Filipe to go back there as well on Saturday. Billy is an exceptional talent for us and he has the ability to play higher than our league given his footballing brain.

"Filipe is understandably champing at the bit for the weekend. We had to drag him off the training pitch today (Thursday) otherwise he'd still be practicing his crosses and set-pieces now - he is so eager to play well in the game.

"We are certainly not going to go there and sit back for the whole game. If we do that, then we are asking for trouble.

"It is getting that balance right. We want to have a solid platform for the game but also the ability to get forward and attack.

"We have players in our squad who I hope can cause Chelsea problems.

"Players like James Hanson, for example, hopefully might give them something to think about come Saturday.

"When we have played teams from higher divisions in the past we have managed to cause them problems."
Standing in the opposite dug-out to Parkinson on Saturday afternoon will be arguably one of the greatest managers in the game today, Jose Mourinho.

During his time as Colchester United boss, Parkinson came up against the legendary Blues boss during an F.A Cup Fifth Round tie at Stamford Bridge, with Chelsea eventually winning 3-1.

Ahead of their second meeting, Parkinson has nothing but praise for 'The Special One'.

Parkinson added: "He is the best manager around at the moment, without a doubt.

"Everyone knows his qualities and his ability to get results.

"He doesn't care what anyone else thinks about him, he sets out his teams to win games of football.

"He adapts his team and his formation accordingly to each game, each situation, and that is what management is all about.

"There are times when his team can play beautiful passing football, like last weekend at Swansea, and then there are other times when he concentrates on simply getting the job done - that is what sets him apart.

"Even with the extremely talented players he has at his disposal, he still demands incredible work ethic from them. That is a great example to follow and something all players can learn from.

"Jose knows that even if you are the best team, you still can't carry anyone, and we say that to our players as well. You can have no passengers in a game of football if you want to win."

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