Bradford must use 'passion of the crowd' to beat Arsenal says manager Phil Parkinson

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The Independent Football

Bradford boss Phil Parkinson believes home support is key if his side are to topple Barclays Premier League giants Arsenal in their Capital One Cup quarter-final.

The Bantams welcome Arsene Wenger's side to Valley Parade tonight and the former Charlton manager is calling for plenty of passion in the stands to help them try and claim another top-flight scalp.

"We have to use the passion of our crowd on the night," he told BBC Look North.

"It'll be a great occasion to have a full house and we have to make sure we have a performance full of commitment and desire.

"We'll make sure that everyone knows their jobs and responsibilities. The personnel might be different to normal but we know what system they'll be playing.

"We've got the utmost respect for them as a club and we know it'll be a difficult game, but it's one we have to enjoy."

Parkinson was also quick to praise Wenger's management of a side currently 65 places above his own and says the Frenchman does not deserve the recent criticism he has been subjected to.

"I think at this stage last year they were in a similar position," Parkinson added.

"I think in English football the biggest prize is the Premier League title and then after that it's getting in the Champions League and Arsene Wenger has managed that year in, year out.

"Everyone in the game appreciates his achievements because they're up against a lot of clubs who have spent more money than them."

The two clubs last met each other at Highbury back in January 2001 when City were still a Premier League outfit.

Goals from Ray Parlour and Lauren proved the difference that day but Parkinson is hoping the Bantams' impressive fitness levels can separate the two sides this time as they enter their 31st competitive game of the season.

"Our fitness work for this season started as soon as the last campaign ended and we monitored them over the summer and their attitude was superb," he continued.

"Credit to them for that. It's paying dividends for us now because the base you build up in pre-season can carry you through."

On-loan Newcastle defender Curtis Good admitted he would relish the opportunity to face the Gunners should he be handed his League Cup debut.

The 19-year-old Australian says there will be plenty of his friends rooting for the opposition at home Down Under.

"It would be a dream come true because all my mates back home are Arsenal supporters," he said.

"When I said I was coming to Bradford they knew we were playing Arsenal and were excited.

"Even if I'm only on the bench, just to be involved in the game at a packed stadium would be great."