Parkinson Praise For Mourinho
Phil Parkinson says there will be no ill-feeling when Bradford travel to Stamford Bridge to take on Jose Mourinho's Chelsea.
Mourinho has upset plenty during his rise to the summit of football management but Bradford boss Phil Parkinson, who led his side on their epic run all the way to the Capital One Cup final at Wembley two years ago, is not one of them.
“Every manager admires him and the reason he wins so much is because he sets his teams up away from home to get a result,” Parkinson said ahead of the fourth-round FA Cup tie.
“He's not bothered how his team looks or what plaudits he gets for his team's style away from home. He just goes there to do a job and adapts his team and his formation accordingly.
“That's what management is all about. Chelsea have got talented players, but he demands a great work ethic from them.
“In the modern-day game if you want to be the best you can't carry anybody in terms of working for the team and we say that to our players.
“The team work ethic is the most important thing and Mourinho has instilled this in his teams and that's why he often gets the right side of the small dividing line between finishing first and second.”
Bradford, under Parkinson, have developed an unlikely big-game mentality in recent seasons. Their Capital One Cup exploits in 2012/13 saw them defeat Wigan, Arsenal and Aston Villa, over two legs, to reach Wembley.
They also won promotion via the League Two play-off final later that year and secured a memorable Capital One Cup win against arch-rivals Leeds earlier this season at a sold-out Valley Parade.
Parkinson feels these experiences will stand the club and his players in good stead.
“The staff are all the same and we've got five or six players who are likely to play, who played in those big games and that was great experience for us,” he said.
“At the time we used that experience to great effect in the play-offs and the play-off final because we grew used to playing in big games in front of the TV cameras and in front of larger crowds.
“It helped us deal with that extra pressure. We had the experience of playing against Leeds, our local rivals, in the Capital One Cup this year and we won that game and this is our chance to test ourselves against the best team in the country at the moment.”
Bradford winger Filipe Morais and midfielder Billy Knott both began their careers at Chelsea before being forced to move on to find their way in the game.
They have every incentive to produce their best, while Parkinson believes there are others in his line-up who could thrive on the day.
“We've got players in our team, who I hope can give Chelsea problems,” he added.
“When we've played teams from a higher division before we've certainly caused them problems.
“James Hanson has been a key player for us over the last three or four years and he's a very under-rated player.
“He's an unselfish player, he's a great team player, he gets a very good ratio of goals for a big target man and I do feel he might give them something to think about on Saturday.”