Manager Phil Parkinson waits on new Bradford deal

Parkinson has led Bradford to the semi-finals of the Capital One Cup

Click to follow
The Independent Football

Talks have still to begin on a new contract for the Bradford City manager, Phil Parkinson.

Parkinson leads the rejuvenated League Two side into the first leg of the semi-final of the Capital One Cup against Aston Villa tonight with his future yet to be secured.

The former Charlton and Hull manager has transformed Bradford in the 18 months since he took over at Valley Parade. Back in 2011, the Bantams, after a disastrous decade, were staring at possible relegation out of the Football League.

Since then the revival has been dramatic. They knocked Arsenal out of the Capital One Cup at the quarter-final stage last month on a thrilling night that saw Valley Parade's biggest crowd since the 1950s. And they currently sit in eighth place in League Two, outside a play-off position on goal difference alone.

Parkinson has been credited with the turnaround, and has breathed life into a club that has battled administration and financial problems since dropping out of the Premier League in 2001.

However, with the clock ticking down on the two-year contract he signed when he took over in August 2011, negotiations have yet to commence on that deal being extended, and improved.

Parkinson is one of the lowest paid managers in the division and will rightfully feel he deserves the change in Bradford's fortunes to be mirrored by a contract. His reputation has risen in the last two years, and his situation has alerted other clubs in the lower leagues.

The 45-year-old wants to stay and feels he can build on what Bradford have already achieved – they also knocked Premier League Wigan out of the Capital One Cup on their way to the semi-final.

Bradford are expecting another 25,000 sell-out for tonight's first leg semi-final with Villa, who will take 4,500 fans to Valley Parade. City's change in fortunes saw them post a profit of £200,000 for the last released set of accounts and the financial windfall from the quarter-final with Arsenal and the semi-final with Aston Villa will similarly boost their balance sheet.

If Bradford win the two-legged tie then they would reach a major domestic final for the first time since they lifted the FA Cup in 1911.

Carl McHugh and winger Kyel Reid are hoping to return to the Bradford squad tonight after being troubled by injury.