Bradford City manager Phil Parkinson fully focused on League Cup glory - FA & League Cups - Football - The Independent

Bradford City manager Phil Parkinson fully focused on League Cup glory

 

Bradford manager Phil Parkinson has broken with convention by claiming he would take a cup triumph over league success.

Parkinson's task at the start of the season was to execute a rebuilding exercise that would begin the process of restoring Bradford to their former status as a Premier League club.

As that experience almost killed the club first time round, no-one was expecting a repeat to be a quick process.

Yet Bradford's present position of 11th in League Two would be a source of satisfaction for no-one had it not been for a quite extraordinary Capital One Cup run, which reaches its climax against Swansea at Wembley on Sunday.

So far, Parkinson's side have claimed three Premier League scalps in Wigan, Arsenal and Aston Villa.

And while some may prefer to talk about the bread and butter of weekly league combat, the 45-year-old from Chorley has his sights firmly set on the record books.

"All along the league has been our priority. I cannot hide away from that," he said. "But we are in the final at Wembley and have a chance of getting into Europe.

"So I can honestly say now, if we had the choice of two things, it would have to be winning the cup.

"We are a League Two team. We have created history by getting this far. It would be truly amazing if we could pull it off."

And how would Bradford handle that? Possibly an unexpected insurance premium for a start to ensure a trophy - something Arsene Wenger has not got his hands on for eight years remember - can be protected properly.

Perhaps a map of Europe to plot a Europa League campaign that may well start in July and end in August.

Of far greater importance though is investment to push the club forward, with the present run having already cleared historic debts that have dragged Bradford down since the days of Benito Carbone, Stan Collymore and the Premier League.

"The chairman has done a great job clearing the debts but now it is their job - and mine - to ensure this extra revenue is used to keep improving the structure of the club and make sure our supporters have a club that will flourish in years to come," Parkinson added.

"As much as we want to enjoy this weekend, it is really important this revenue is used wisely. I am sure it will be."

This is a unique experience for Bradford, but also for Parkinson.

He has spent some time this week on the phone to old friend Alan Pardew to get some idea of what plans to make, while assistant Steve Parkin did the same thing with Sam Allardyce.

But one of Parkinson's key tasks comes from personal experience.

In 1995 he was suffering from a knee injury when Reading reached the play-off final against Bolton at Wembley, forcing him to miss the Royals' Wembley defeat.

So Luke Oliver, whose campaign was ended by a snapped Achilles in October, will very much be part of the event.

"We have to make sure he is a part of it," Parkinson said. "For Luke that is the next best thing.

"My own experience means everybody, whether it is someone who comes in one day a week to help the physio out, or is there every day, has to be involved."

Parkinson could never have expected to be in the position of telling some of those who are fit they have not made the cut.

Neither could anyone have prepared him for the team talk he must make before 4pm on Sunday, knowing the mental preparation will be almost as important as what goes on once the match of his players' lives actually starts.

"Are we going to get any fitter this week? Probably not," he said.

"Mentally we have come through some big games; Wigan, Arsenal, two against Aston Villa. But this is another level above that.

"The next challenge is can we handle the big one, at Wembley. I am ready for that and I am confident my players will meet it too."

News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
News
peopleThe report and photo dedicated to the actress’s decolletage has, unsurprisingly, provoked anger
Property
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
property
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
The programme sees four specialists creating what they believe are three perfect couples, based on scientific matchmaking. The couples will not meet until they walk down the aisle together
tvUK wedding show jilted
Arts and Entertainment
US pop diva Jennifer Lopez sang “Happy Birthday” to Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, president of Turkmenistan
musicCorporate gigs become key source of musicians' income
Arts and Entertainment
You've been framed: Henri Matisse's colourful cut-outs at Tate Modern
artWhat makes a smash-hit art show
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig believed to be donning skis as 007 for first time
Sport
Mikel Arteta pictured during Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal
champions league
Voices
Yes supporters gather outside the Usher Hall, which is hosting a Night for Scotland in Edinburgh
voicesBen Judah: Is there a third option for England and Scotland that keeps everyone happy?
Arts and Entertainment
Pulp-fiction lover: Jarvis Cocker
booksJarvis Cocker on Richard Brautigan
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke and Pharell Williams in the video of the song, which has been accused of justifying rape
music...and he had 'almost no part' in writing it
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week