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McLaughlin hails fan power

12 May 2013

Bantams 'keeper Jon McLaughlin is convinced that fan power can play its part as City prepare for their npower League 2 Play-Off Final with Northampton Town at Wembley Stadium next Saturday.

After defeating Burton Albion 5-4 on aggregate in their Play-Off Semi-Final, Phil Parkinson's men are now less than a week away from their final game showdown with the Cobblers at the national stadium.

The stakes couldn't be higher for Parkinson's side with a place in League 1 up for grabs in their 64th game of a marathon and memorable season.

Preparations within the Bantams camp are fully underway for the showpiece event, but McLaughlin admits the amazing scenes post-match at Burton Albion during their Play-Off Semi-Final Second Leg and the support they received during the game won't quickly be forgotten.

McLaughlin said: "We were always confident we could turn the Burton tie around, and I think the fans were confident as well. That certainly helped us to have a crowd really roaring us on and believing we could achieve something.

"You could only really hear our own supporters and that turned it into a bit of another home game for us in someways. Our fans were amazing again on the day, and it was great to celebrate with them after the full time whistle."

Next Saturday's Play-Off Final will, of course, be City's second trip to Wembley this season following their appearance in the Capital One Cup Final against Swansea City back in February. 

McLaughlin's involvement on that day came when City were four goals down and a man down after fellow shot-stopper Matt Duke had been dismissed for giving a penalty away.

At that point, the day could have turned into a nightmare for the Bantams but, backed by the truly amazing support given out by City's fans packed into Wembley's West End, Parkinson's men were able to finish the game with their heads held high.

McLaughlin added: "The fans have been massive for us all season - home and away - and they really help us through games. That particular game clearly wasn't the greatest day for us and the crowd could easily have gone away. 

"But, once again, they showed why they are some of the greatest fans in the country.

"I think the way they supported the players and the club all the way through to the final whistle was amazing - they created a truly incredible atmosphere. I am sure the fans will be doing their best to create the same sort of atmosphere at Wembley next Saturday.

"We are certainly desperate to try give them the right result and give them something to really celebrate about this time."

Next Saturday's encounter with Northampton will be the Bantams' fifth match of the season against the Cobblers following their two matches during the regular campaign and an F.A Cup tie that went to penalties in a replay.

Despite City being unbeaten against Northampton so far this campaign, all four previous encounters have been hard-fought and keenly-contested.

With another evenly-matched contest possibly on the cards for Wembley, McLaughlin knows City's supporters will have a role to play come kick off time in the Play-Off Final.

McLaughlin said: "We are going to need every little bit of support and help we can get. Anything that can possibly give us any sort of advantage is going to help us. 

"Any little percentage we can get over the other team, we're going to need to use it. The crowd and fans are certainly going to be one of those tools we'll need again to try and get the right result for us.

"Looking at our previous results with Northampton this season, two tight victories in the league and then an F.A Cup game that went all the way. We may have three victories against them, but they have all been very difficult matches.

"I am sure there is a chance that it will be another tough and tight affair come next Saturday. With that in mind, hopefully the fans will be our twelfth man in the game and can really push us on and try and get us over the line."

Tickets for City's npower League 2 Play-Off Final match with Northampton at Wembley are now on general sale to ALL supporters. Tickets can be brought via one of two ways.

>        >Over the phone by ringing 08444 77 77 74. The telephone service hotline will be active from 9:00am until 7:00pm on Monday (13 May 2013) and Tuesday (14 May 2013). Lines are also open 10:00am until 4:00pm on Sunday (12 May 2013), plus 9:00am – 12noon on Wednesday (15 May 2013).

·        > Online via the Ticketzone Play-Off Final web service. Please click HERE to be taken to the site. 

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