Bolton Wanderers entertain fellow League One high fliers Bradford City this weekend, with manager Phil Parkinson set for a first reunion with his old club.
Surprisingly, it’s the first time the two teams have met in the league since 1998 and Parkinson will be wary of the threat his new side face.
The Bolton boss spent five highly successful years at the West Yorkshire outfit, including a famous FA Cup win over Chelsea, as well as trips to Wembley in the League Two Play-Offs and League Cup final respectively.
“I was very proud of the work I did over the five years there,” Parkinson told MM. “You can only make decisions honestly and that’s what I did.
“I had a great relationship with the fans but often when you leave a club the supporters don’t fully understand the reasons and don’t like it.”
‘Like it’ they did not but the move has done little to tarnish a legacy that will live long in the memory of City’s fans.
Local councillor, David Ward, expressed his ‘sadness’ at losing such a ‘successful’ manager while another supporter, Keith Wildman, cited Parkinson’s pivotal role in the city’s resurgence.
“He has done more for this city than any politician,” he said. “He’s played such a huge part in Bradford’s revitalisation.”
Parkinson was replaced in the summer by Bradford legend, Stuart McCall, who’s taken the club up to fourth in League One.
Alongside Carlisle, the Bantams are the only unbeaten team outside of the Premier League and they travel across the Pennines knowing that victory would take them above their hosts into the automatic promotion places.
As for Bolton, the pressure is on to end a rotten run of form.
Following last week’s defeat at struggling Walsall, the former league leaders have now gone five games without a win in all competitions.
However, the Trotters haven’t been beaten in a league game at the Macron since the start of April and have captain, Jay Spearing, available again following his one match suspension.
The match kicks off at 3pm this Saturday at the Macron Stadium with tickets still available to attend.
Image courtesy of Bolton Wanderers FC via YouTube, with thanks.