Parkinson believes in Wembley dream

Published: Sunday 15th February 2015 by The News Editor

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Bradford boss Phil Parkinson believes his side have every chance of extending their FA Cup odyssey all the way to Wembley after claiming another Premier League scalp at Valley Parade on Sunday.

Billy Clarke’s deflected opener after three minutes paved the way for the Bantams to move within one more win of a place in the semi-finals and former Sunderland striker Jon Stead sealed victory with a 61st minute strike.

While Black Cats boss Gus Poyet was left to launch a bizarre attack on the media in a spiky post-match press conference, Parkinson was left to bask in a performance every bit as impressive as his side’s stunning 4-2 win at Chelsea in round four.

Parkinson said: “If we get our approach right we’ve got a chance against anybody, and we proved that today.

“There was always a danger that because we beat Chelsea everyone would expect us to win today, and we had to guard against that and go in there with the underdog mentality.

“Right from the first whistle we played with great desire and great spirit and we were first to every ball all over the pitch.

“Maybe we took Sunderland by surprise. We made it an uncomfortable afternoon for them, which you’ve got to do against a top side. Our second goal was great and we killed the game off in the late stages.

“Today is another terrific day and to have Valley Parade full of 24,000 fans it’s like a throwback. The lads were absolutely revelling in it and they deserve the support because of their performances and the effort they have put in over the years.”

Parkinson admitted to some disappointment that his side’s magnificent run this season has not yet earned lucrative live television rights, but said he hoped TV executives would not make the mistake of missing out on the Bantams again.

He said: “We were disappointed that it wasn’t on the TV. If we just talk about the finances it’s a quarter of a million pounds which would have meant a lot, but we move on from it.

“The media has done the talking for us and we’ve had to take it on the chin and make sure we put in a performance today. Hopefully they’ll come and give us a live game next time.”

Meanwhile, Poyet was left to round on referee Kevin Friend and the media after a dismal performance that followed hot on the heels of Tuesday night’s Premier League capitulation against QPR.

Poyet clearly took issue with the reporting of his comments about the club’s fans, telling the post-match media conference: “The problem is you, not me.

“I’m not going to get involved any more. If we close Sunderland – if we put a China Wall around the city – it would be fantastic.

“Now when we let you in and you get out and say what you want we’ve got a problem. I invite every Sunderland fan and people around the club not to listen to any one of you – only to me.”

Poyet even took issue with a question about the absence of Jermain Defoe, responding: “You need to know too many things and we try not to give you too much information.

“He was injured, he got a little problem on his calf and we don’t know how long it is going to take.”

Poyet’s mood was not improved by his reaction to the performance of Friend, whom he believed denied Sunderland a clear first-half penalty after Rory McArdle tackled Steven Fletcher in the box.

Poyet added: “We tried our best and I think no regrets because everybody put in their best effort and their best ability to play under the circumstances.

“They found a goal from an action that can happen in any game. Then when we started understanding a way to hurt Bradford, at that moment we needed to score and the referee needed to do his job and he didn’t.”

However, Poyet did refrain from following up his comments earlier this week about the poor state of Bradford’s pitch – and was magnanimous in his praise of the League One side’s performance.

He added: “I’m not going to complain about the pitch – we didn’t lose because of the pitch.

“Bradford won at Stamford Bridge on a great pitch and today they played here and beat us on this pitch so you need to give plenty of credit to what they do.”

Published: Sunday 15th February 2015 by The News Editor

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