Oct 12 2013 by Nick Hilton, Sat WIR
BRADFORD CITY’S Birkenhead-born skipper Gary Jones isn’t expecting an easy ride from his hometown club at Valley Parade tomorrow.
Jones, who watched Rovers games from the Prenton Park terraces as a youngster, expects the bottom-of-the-table visitors to come out fighting.
Midfielder Jones said: “I think we have seen that Tranmere have had their struggles so far this season, but we are still expecting a really tough match. Coming from the north end of Birkenhead, I used to go and watch Tranmere quite a lot when I was younger. I still have friends and family now who go and watch them.
“They are in a difficult situation in the league at the moment, but they will know that one decent result can change that all around for them. We have to be on our guard to ensure that they don’t pick up that result against us.”
The 36-year-old added: “Make no bones about it – this will be a tough game for us. Tranmere have some good players and they can be a threat if we allow them to be.
“Looking at the table coming into this game can be a dangerous thing. Regardless of where Tranmere are situated at the moment, this game will be one that we will have to go into 100% flat out. Ronnie Moore will have his players fired up – I’m sure he will – so we know that we will have to start the game well and put in a very good shift. If we do that, we’ll give ourselves a great chance of winning the game.”
Bradford manager Phil Parkinson believes the extra day to build up for the game is helpful for players fighting off injury. The game was moved on police advice to avoid a rally in the town by the English Defence League today.
Parkinson believes that added time will help as the Bantams look to keep up their storming start to the season.
Jones and Garry Thompson were both hampered by knocks going into the win at Walsall last weekend. With City already missing Rory McArdle and Carl McHugh on international duty, Parkinson wants to make sure that there are no further pitfalls to the preparation.
He said: “Playing on Sunday and having that extra time is good.
“We need to get a good week’s training in our legs.
“We’ve lost a few players and we want to get all the bumps and bruises cleared up.”
Tranmere have taken only five points from the first 10 games – and have lost the last four. But Parkinson insists City, who are unbeaten at home, cannot take their foot off the pedal.
“We know Tranmere will be fighting for their lives.
“We’ve got to have a determination about us to match that first and foremost, like we have done so far this season.”