Bradford City boss Phil Parkinson wants 'hostile' Valley Parade

Phil Parkinson

Npower League Two play-off semi-final first leg

Valley Parade
Thursday, 2 May
19:45 BST
BBC Sport website, BBC Radio 5 live, BBC local radio.

Bradford City boss Phil Parkinson believes their fans have a vital role in Thursday's League Two play-off semi-final first leg against Burton.

The Bantams are hoping to reach Wembley for the second time this season after their run to the League Cup final.

Parkinson's side secured home wins over Premier League clubs Arsenal and Aston Villa in that competition.

"The more hostile we can make this ground the better chance we have," he told BBC Radio Leeds.

"We've asked a lot from supporters financially this season and the city has come out in numbers but this game is far more important than any other one we've had.

"We're asking for a real push from everyone to get us over the line. Their support is going to be crucial and we want the ground to be as full as possible."

Bradford were 10 points adrift of the play-offs after a 4-1 defeat at Exeter in the middle of March but a run of five wins, three draws and only one defeat from their final nine games saw them secure seventh place.

Parkinson is confident his players have the experience to handle the pressure of the play-offs.

"It's been a great achievement to lose just two of our last 15 games since the cup final to get to this stage," he added.

"I've no doubt about the strength of character in our players, it's shone out all season. It isn't a day where you have to motivate the players because they understand the importance of the game.

"I think experience counts and we've got players in the team who have won promotion and played in big games and that helps."

The Bantams travel to Burton for the second leg on Sunday at 12:00 BST.

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