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WE'RE ITCHING TO GET BACK OUT THERE

18 December 2015

Bantams boss Phil Parkinson says his players are ready to resume their league campaign at Chesterfield this Saturday after a three-week break from Sky Bet League 1 football.

The postponed home game with Southend United last weekend means City's only match in December so far has been the victory over Chesham United in the Emirates FA Cup second round.

The Bantams' previous league game came at Walsall a week earlier at the end of November.

Parkinson, who will take charge of his 200th City league game on Saturday, said: "We're itching to get back out there again. It has been quite a while since our last league game and we are ready to get going again.

"The Southend game being postponed was frustrating but there was nothing we could do with the amount of rain that was around on the day. We were ready to go that day but we move on.

"Despite the poor weather conditions that have been around, training has been good and I've been pleased with the attitude of the players.

"We now need a true Bradford City performance at Chesterfield. 

"I'm sure there will be another good away following from our fans at the ground for the game, and we need to be ready to give them something to shout about from the off.

"I like the quote I read from (Newcastle United boss) Steve McClaren after they beat Liverpool recently.

"He said that to win a game of football the team has to be practically crawling off the pitch at the end.

"Obviously what he meant by that is that he knows you have to give it absolutely everything you've got in terms of energy and effort as a player to win a game.

"We have to do that now. We have to come flying out of the traps and be really positive, really difficult to contend with.

"We have to be on the front foot from the first whistle - not carrying anyone - because we'll be coming up against a side fighting for their lives."

With no new injuries reported, City are expected to go with largely the same squad they have been using for previous match-days in recent weeks.

Josh Morris is still sidelined with a troublesome knee problem but Parkinson is counting down the days before the midfielder can finally make a return to action.

Parkinson added: "It is a frustrating one for both Josh and ourselves.

"He was looking good in a reserve game a couple of weeks ago but then he got a whack on the same part of his knee and it has knocked him back a bit.

"He is due to start running soon though, and we can't wait to have him back involved.

"He is going to be like a new signing for us when he returns. The same with Steven Davies really.

"Sides will definitely look to improve their squads come January but we will already have that ability to strengthen when we can welcome those two back."

Helped in part by City's postponed fixture last Saturday, Parkinson has seen all three of Chesterfield's games under caretaker manager Mark Smith, who was put in temporary charge following the recent sacking of former Bantams striker Dean Saunders.

Parkinson continued: "They have gone largely with a 4-4-2 formation and he (Mark Smith) looks to have made them hard to break down.

"They competed well at Walsall on Tuesday (FA Cup replay) and we have to expect that again come Saturday.

"We have a really exciting group of games coming up over this festive period and we are looking forward to getting started."

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