Bradford City confident for Cobblers FA Cup visit despite illness

BACK BETWEEN THE STICKS - Shane Higgs plays for the Cobblers tonight in place of the unavailable Lee Nicholls

BACK BETWEEN THE STICKS - Shane Higgs plays for the Cobblers tonight in place of the unavailable Lee Nicholls


Bradford City assistant manager Steve Parkin is confident his squad will be fit enough for Tuesday’s FA Cup first-round replay against the Cobblers, despite the club cancelling training on Monday due to illness.

Manager Phil Parkinson called off the Monday session after midfielder Garry Thompson and goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin phoned in with illness.

But despite losing a day of preparation, Parkin feels that Bradford know enough about the Cobblers’s strengths and weaknesses from playing them twice in the past four weeks, and shrugged off any concerns about the squad’s fitness.

“The players are fit enough because the games are coming thick and fast,” said Parkin.

“The good thing is we are playing somebody we’ve seen twice in a fortnight and know everything we need to about the players, whatever team Aidy (Boothroyd) picks.”

That selection is unlikely to differ too much from the 11 that started against Accrington on Saturday, although Lee Nicholls will be replaced by Shane Higgs in goal and Jake Robinson will not travel because he is Cup-tied.

Adebayo Akinfenwa will lead the line looking to add to his 10 goals for the season and build on the hat-trick he bagged at Accrington.
Unsurprisingly, he was the main threat cited by Parkin when discussing the obstacles that lie between Bradford City and a second-round tie against Brentford.

“Northampton had a great result at the weekend and it will be another tough game,” said Parkin.

“We know what they’re all about after playing them twice. I thought we deserved to win down there in the league but the cup was more even.

“Akinfenwa has found his scoring shoes and he is a dangerous player in and around the box.”

Bradford will be without centre-backs Andrew Davies and Luke Oliver, who are out injured, and loan players John Egan (Sunderland) and Craig Forsyth (Watford) cannot play because they were not registered at the time of the original game.




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