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Places up for grabs

27 September 2012

City boss Phil Parkinson admits he is still keeping all of his options open in regards to his team selection for this Saturday's home clash with Port Vale.


Vale will travel to the Coral Windows Stadium this weekend sitting joint second with the Bantams in the League 2 table, with the City chief acknowledging that he has quite a number of players pushing hard to make his starting eleven for the Valiants fixture.


Parkinson made as many as six changes for Tuesday's dramatic Capital One Cup win over Burton Albion, although three of the starters from last Saturday's league win at Oxford United - Kyel Reid, Nahki Wells and James Hanson - were required to come off the bench to swing the tie back in City's favour.


As part of his preparations for Saturday's match with Vale, Parkinson says he will take the events of Tuesday's tie into consideration - who played well, who perhaps is feeling the effects of the match going into extra time etc - before naming his team.


The Bantams chief says that whoever is selected though must be ready to go the distance again. 


"It's a difficult one," revealed Parkinson when asked about team selection. "I certainly haven't picked the team today (Thursday).


"As normal, we'll have a staff meeting and discuss which team we think will be best for the game, not just tactically, but in terms of freshness after Tuesday.


"We will be looking for a side who is ready to go again for ninety-odd minutes.


"The lads who played the 120 minutes on Tuesday have had a bit of a recovery day today. 


"It is important that me and Steve (Parkin) do that because we need to give the players the opportunity to be at their best on Saturday and not to leave their energy levels out on the training pitch.


"It is all about getting that balance right between making sure we are organised and prepared for the game but still physically refreshed and mentally fresh for Saturday."


After watching the drama of Tuesday unfold from the Valley Parade bench after City erred on the side of caution due to slight knocks to the duo, both Jon McLaughlin and Luke Oliver are now back in the mix to add to Parkinson's options.


"Everybody is back in contention again - we certainly have some decisions to make," added Parkinson.


"We will try to make those decisions in an honest fashion and be fair to the players. 


"Like we did for the Oxford and Burton matches, we will look to pick the best team for this particular game.


"We keep saying to the lads how the whole squad is important and how everyone will be required - I think we've pretty much seen evidence of that over the last two games.


"Whoever is selected for Saturday will have to do the rest of the squad - whether they be on the bench or in the stands - justice."


Ricky Ravenhill will be another player looking for a starting berth - his first league action of the season should he be selected - after making a successful return to first-team action on Tuesday following his knee injury in pre-season.


Parkinson said: "I'm really pleased to have Ricky back in the fold. I thought he played really well. He was always going to come off during the game because I felt ninety minutes might have been a lot given he hadn't played first team football for a while."


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