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BRING ON THE NOISE!

11 February 2015

Bantams striker Jon Stead says he can't wait to step out in front of a full house at the Coral Windows Stadium this Sunday when Phil Parkinson's men take on Premier League side Sunderland for a place in the F.A Cup Quarter-Finals.

Following almost unprecedented levels of demand for match tickets, around 24,000 fans are expected inside Valley Parade come Sunday afternoon for the fifth round tie and the visit of Gus Poyet's Black Cats.

Such is the thirst for tickets, Sunday's attendance is likely to be a record for the stadium in its current configuration - beating the crowd figure of 23,971 for the club's Capital One Cup Quarter-Final against Arsenal back in December 2012.

Having been at the club a total of roughly just over five months now spread over two separate loan spells, Stead has already had ample opportunity to sample the vocal and passionate Bantams support.

Looking ahead to the Sunderland tie, however, Stead - a former F.A Cup semi-finalist with Blackburn Rovers - expects Sunday's atmosphere to be at a whole different level to what he has experienced before.

Stead, who has scored in every round of the F.A Cup so far this season, said: "I can't wait for it really.

"I've seen what Bradford have been like in the cup games over the years and I've seen how it was for the Leeds (United, Capital One Cup) game earlier this season. 

"I've seen what the atmosphere has been like in those matches and I am obviously keen to get involved in that myself.

"It will be a huge occasion for the club, and we will be trying our all to give another good accounts of ourselves against a Premiership team.

"A lot of fans who couldn't get tickets for the Chelsea game will hopefully be in the crowd this time around for Sunday.

"This match gives them their opportunity to get right behind us. I have a feeling that the stadium will be bouncing that day and we'll have an unbelievable atmosphere to savour.

"The lads will be bang up for it. If we can play a bit above our levels and Sunderland dip a bit below theirs, then it is a cup competition and anything can happen.

"We will be giving it a right go come Sunday. We go into the match with nothing to lose and full of confidence."

Not for the first time this season, Stead will be coming up against a former club when Sunderland visit BD8 this Sunday.

Stead played at the Stadium of Light for two years between the years of 2005 and 2007.

He added: "I have many memories from my time at Sunderland - unfortunately not all of them were great.

"We had a bit of a struggling side in the Premier League during my time there and I don't think I really fulfilled what I aimed to do there either.

"It was a bit of a disappointment for me that my performances weren't quite perhaps what I would have wanted but it was still good to meet some great people up there.

"The support Sunderland get up there is brilliant - they are all football mad.

"Even when we weren't doing too well in the league, it was still a nice environment to be around.

"Their support is always tremendous and I am sure there will be a big following coming down to Yorkshire with them.

"I don't feel like I have anything to prove going up against an old club. I just want to play as I know I can and hopefully help us progress to the next round."

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