Parkinson taking no risks

Parkinson
Bradford City manager Phil Parkinson. Photo: PA

Bradford boss Gary Parkinson will not take any unnecessary risks with captain Gary Jones for Tuesday's Capital One Cup clash with Wigan.

The Bantams are away at the Barclays Premier League side in the fourth round and must make a decision over Jones' participation.

The midfielder returned from a five-week injury lay-off at the weekend in a defeat by Burton after a spell on the sidelines with a back problem.

Parkinson was forced to turn to his skipper much earlier than intended due to Ricky Ravenhill's dismissal and completed just under an hour.

But despite the club having two big cup games in a week - with an FA Cup trip to Northampton also looming at the weekend - and with injuries and suspensions robbing Parkinson of a number of his first-team players, the manager will keep a close eye on the 35-year-old ahead of the tie.

"Ideally we only wanted to give Gary 10-15 minutes towards the end (on Saturday), but Ricky's sending off obviously changed all that," he told the club's official website.

"We'll have to see how he is because he has to be absolutely right to play in these next two cup games. I don't want to lose him again by playing him too much, too soon.

"We certainly have a lot of thinking to do."

With Ravenhill starting a three-game ban for an apparent headbutt on Burton's Lee Bell and defensive duo Andrew Davies and Luke Oliver sidelined with injuries, Parkinson faces a selection headache for the trip to the DW Stadium.

He is also without on-loan winger Craig Forsyth. The 23-year-old is cup-tied after playing against Bradford in the second round of the competition for parent club Watford.

The Bantams boss is able to recall top-scorer Nahki Wells after the striker served a one-match ban at the weekend for picking up five yellow cards. Wells scored two late goals in the third round as Bradford came from two-goals down to beat Burton 3-2 after extra-time.

That victory set up the tie with Roberto Martinez's Latics and 5,000 Bradford fans are expected to make the trip across the Pennines to offer their support to the lowest-ranked team left in the competition.

Due to the lack of options available to Parkinson, he has named four apprentices in the travelling squad, and the quartet are expected to make the substitute's bench.

Scott Brown and Forrayah Bass have both featured on the bench already this season, in the first round away at Notts County, but winger Connor Erangey and forward Louis Swain had to have been given squad numbers for the fixture.

Parkinson admitted he is looking at the loan market to help out with numbers.

He said: "I don't think we'll be able to get anyone in for the cup games but we'll have to sit down with the two chairmen and make some decisions."