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THIS WILL BE AN OCCASION TO SAVOUR

15 March 2015

Bantams boss Phil Parkinson knows it is important that his City team truly savours the occasion of being potentially ninety minutes away from an FA Cup Semi Final at Wembley Stadium.

Parkinson's side travel to Reading's Madejski Stadium this Monday evening knowing victory in their FA Cup quarter final replay will take them into a mouth-watering last four encounter with holders Arsenal at the National Stadium.

With Reading likely to be favourites going into the tie given their home advantage and Championship status, Parkinson believes the Bantams can play without our fear knowing the burden of expectation won't be on their shoulders.

And having seen his side beat a number of teams from the leagues above already this season, Parkinson says City should enjoy the challenge of facing another higher-ranked side in a game of such magnitude. 

Parkinson said: "I think some people almost got a bit confused in the first game by classing ourselves as favourites.

"Reading probably have a budget ten times as big as ours and facing them at this stage of the FA Cup is another great challenge for us.

"We sit down with the players before these big matches against the better teams and we discuss with them what we need to show out on the pitch.

"The challenges we've had so far this season - Leeds, Millwall, Sunderland and Chelsea - we've rose to them, and we will need to do that again on Monday night.

"We won't go there in fear. We know the pressure will be on Reading after getting the draw at our place and we can go there and be relaxed in our play without that taking anything away from the intensity of our play.

"There is no pressure on us. It is just great to be in a game of this size.

"There will be a large number of players and managers watching the game on television very envious of us when we run out in front of a packed Madejski Stadium with one side only ninety minutes away from Wembley.

"We really have to go there and enjoy it. When you are growing up as a kid and hoping to be in professional football, you dream of being involved in games like this. When it comes around then, you have to make sure you make the most of it.

"Once the game starts, we have to come out of the traps quickly and make it as difficult as possible for Reading."

With such a massive prize at stake for the winners of Monday's replay, Parkinson hopes City's supporters can give his players every little bit of help possible come kick off time.

Parkinson added: "The financial rewards are huge but the main thing for us would be the achievement. To get a League 1 club to this stage of the FA Cup is a great achievement. Can we go one step further? We'll see on Monday night.

"Hopefully we will have as many fans as possible behind that goal at Reading. I truly do believe that they can make all the difference on the night.

"Reading are understandably trying to build this game up and get the atmosphere up around the ground so we need to make sure all the Bradford fans are in full voice as well.

"As we will be asking from the players, we really will need a big performance from the fans again on Monday night. To the 3,500 or so fans coming to the game, we will need you on the top of your game please." 



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