The Valiants take on cup kings Bradford City on Tuesday night and here is our brief guide to the Valiants’ latest opponents.
Man in charge
Former Colchester and Charlton boss Phil Parkinson joined Bradford in 2011. He has been in charge for 96 games, winning 31, losing 34 and drawing 31. This season Parkinson has attracted nationwide headlines thanks to Bradford’s fantastic cup run which took them to the final of the Carling Cup.
Last time we met?
The two sides have already met two times this season. They played each other in the Johnstones Paint trophy in December and naturally cup experts Bradford progressed winning 2-0 thanks to goals from Jones and Forsyth. In September, the two sides met in the league with Vale winning 1-0 at Valley Parade thanks to Tom Pope’s (right) goal.
Bradford are ahead by 41 wins to Vale’s 31. There have been 26 draws.
However, Vale have won their last three home league games against Bradford, a run that stretches back to 2009.
Marc Bridge-Wilkinson (right) may have been a target for the boo boys after he left Vale Park, but his career stats for the Valiants are nevertheless impressive. The diminutive midfield man scored twice on his debut and rattled in 36 goals in 124 (plus 16 as sub) appearances. However, when he left Vale for Stockport in 2004 many fans felt his move was financially motivated and he was derided on his occasion returns to Vale Park.
In 2005, Bridge-Wilkinson moved to Bradford where he made 95 starts, scoring 14 goals. He departed the Bantams for Carlisle in 2007.
Other players to appear for both sides include Will Atkinson, Ron Futcher, Neville Southall, Ashley Westwood, Jake Speight, Peter Griffiths, Bernie Wright and Lee Mills. Former Bradford City player Lee Sinnott has managed the Valiants.
We’re expecting some changes after Vale’s recent run of poor form. New loan signing Anthony Griffith (right) will probably start and Vale could well line up in a rejigged 4-3-3 formation. Daniel Jones may be doubtful to start his second game in three games after suffering from illness last week. Other players that could come into contention include Louis Dodds, Adam Yates and Sam Morsy.
OVF’s guesswork starting XI – Neal – Duffy, McCombe, Purse, Jones – Loft, Griffith, Burge – Dodds, Pope, Myrie-Williams
Bradford City dangerman Nahki Wells is doubtful with a dead leg picked up during Saturday’s win over York City. Garry Thompson, Andy Gray and Alan Connell are all pushing to take his place should he fail to recover in time.
“There’s a lot of negativity around Vale Park at the moment and that’s not going to help anybody, so we need the supporters to be our 12th man right now.
“It’s not about individuals, it’s about the team and if the fans can give us 100 per cent, I’m sure we can bounce back.
“We’ve lost another game and we need to get it out of our system as quickly as we can. The only way we can do that is by beating Bradford.”
– Micky Adams
“We know if we play well on the day that we are a match for anybody in this league.
“We have 13 cup finals to come and there is no reason why we cannot mount a challenge, especially with us playing a lot of teams above and around us.”
– Bradford player Garry Thompson