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Fixture News

OPTIONS AVAILABLE FOR BLACKPOOL FIXTURE

25 February 2016

Bantams boss Phil Parkinson has welcomed the competition for places currently within his squad as he assesses his options ahead of City's trip to Blackpool this Saturday (27 February 2016).

After coming off with a bang to the head during last weekend's draw with Rochdale, James Hanson has been passed fit for the Blackpool fixture. 

Josh Cullen, who was restricted to being an unused sub in the Rochdale game due to a stomach bug, is also back to full fitness once again. James Meredith and Lee Evans have shrugged off recent illness as well to be in contention for the Bloomfield Road fixture.

To give Parkinson even more food for thought, a number of squad members impressed as City's reserves defeated Port Vale at West Riding County FA headquarters on Tuesday.

Mark Marshall netted twice, Billy Clarke scored once and set up another, while Jamie Proctor had a hand in four goals during the Bantams' 5-1 victory over the Valiants.

Parkinson said: "Josh (Cullen) has trained this week. I think it was the right call to leave him out of the team last Saturday because he hadn't trained beforehand. He hadn't eaten much because of the bug but he is fine now.

"James Meredith is back after having a spot of flu earlier in the week. Lee Evans also had a bit of it at the weekend but they have both got it out of their systems now.

"Stephen Darby has had a few days of rest at the start of this week due to a sore groin but he is back in training today (Thursday). James (Hanson) is also back in training now.

"We decided to take him out of contact training at the beginning of the week but that was very much a precautionary decision.

"He has looked really good in training.

"This week has given us the opportunity to patch up a few players and get them going again."

Parkinson continued: "It was an excellent performance from the players on Tuesday (in the reserves), the commitment levels were good. 

"There are now people knocking on the door looking for a recall and pushing other players hard for those starting berths, Jamie Proctor being a good example of that.

"Jamie looked great in his first two games but he then couldn't play in the next game due to the terms of his loan deal from Fleetwood Town.

"Since then, Hanson and Davies have both scored three goals each and Wes Thomas has found his feet. 

"Jamie is an excellent player though, he is the sort of footballer who could go from not being on the bench for us one week to starting the next game.

"Billy Clarke is another one. At the start of the season, he was our number one pick. Now due to a couple of injuries for him and the form of other players, he has found himself down the pecking order a bit.

"He got himself a goal on Tuesday, however, and he has shown he is also ready."

Paul Anderson is one player who won't be available to Parkinson for the Sky Bet League 1 fixture against the Tangerines but the winger has given the City chief a boost this week by making a welcome return to training.

Anderson hasn't featured for the Bantams since breaking his leg during the home fixture against Peterborough United back in September.

The 27 year-old has taken part in sections of first team training over the last few days, with Filipe Morais (knee) also making progress from his own long-term injury.

Parkinson added: "To have Paul back on the training pitch has been a big boost for everyone. He looked excellent out there, his fitness levels have been great this week and he has been like a breath of fresh air on the training pitch.

"Paul has gone ahead of Filipe (Morais) slightly at the moment in terms of their recovery because Fil had a minor set-up recently. It was nothing major though, we had the knee scanned and there was no problem at all.

"He is now working hard to build himself up again."


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