Phil Parkinson, the Bradford City manager, has paid tribute to Nigel Clough ahead of today’s game against Sheffield United, writes James Shield.
And, placing this evening’s visitors to the Coral Windows Stadium among his favourites to gain promotion from League One, the former Bury and Reading defender insisted that repeating last season’s victory over United would represent a huge statement of intent from the West Yorkshire club.
“They’ve got to be one of the favourites because of the way they finished the previous campaign,” Parkinson said. “Nigel did a tremendous job transforming them and everyone thought them and Bristol City would be the two teams this year.
“It’s a good test for us and we want to show ourselves at our best.”
David Weir was at the helm when two goals from Nahki Wells, now of Huddersfield Town, condemned United to defeat in the corresponding fixture last term. Clough, who took charge two months later, guided them from 21st to seventh in the table and reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup.
City, who yesterday signed Jon Stead on loan, secured a 2-2 draw at Bramall Lane in January and Parkinson said: “That was more about the spirit of the team that got us something that day. We were on the back foot for long periods but battled back to get an important point and showed a good attitude.
“I think last year was the first time we’ve come up against him (Clough). I don’t remember facing him when he was at Burton or Derby.”