Bradford's League Cup run unlikely to be matched - Parkinson

Bradford manager Phil Parkinson doubts that a team from the fourth tier will ever reach a major cup final again.

Parkinson saw his side stun Aston Villa 4-3 on aggregate after a 2-1 defeat at Villa Park on Tuesday night to reach next month's Capital One Cup final.

He said: "I think it'd take some doing for anyone to do this again.

Analysis

"Bradford dared to dream. They were helped by Villa who were very naive in the second half but don't take anything away from Bradford City. They played very good football and have been brilliant at set-pieces. My words aren't good enough for them."

"We had a really tough run. It wasn't just the Premier League teams, we had tough games with Notts County and Watford too."

Bradford went into the second-leg at Villa Park 3-1 up but Christian Benteke reduced the deficit for Villa.

James Hanson headed Bradford level on the night before Andreas Weimann scored a late goal for Villa.

Parkinson's side started their run to the final with an away tie at Notts County the week before the league campaign started in August.

En route to the final, the League Two side have seen off the Magpies, Watford, Burton and Premier League sides Wigan, Arsenal and now Villa.

Their date at Wembley is the first time they have reached the final of a major competition since winning the FA Cup in 1911 and the first time a side from the fourth division has made the final since Rochdale in 1962.

Parkinson believes the money earned by the run to the final will secure the future of the club - as well as the place of his side in the history books.

Parkinson added: "These lads will be remembered in the history of Bradford City for years to come.

"Bradford fans will place their feat in the context of beating three teams from the top flight in succession, one 62 places above them in the league ladder over two legs, to reach Wembley, where their greatest moment may yet await them. It is, without doubt, one of the great cup achievements."

"There's a 1911 lounge at the club to celebrate the cup victory of that year. Well, in years to come, there will be a lounge named after this cup run and these players because of what they've achieved.

"To go to Wembley is going to keep the club going for quite a while, I imagine. For the city of Bradford, it's massive and I really feel that this can galvanise the area."

They will meet either Swansea or Chelsea in the final on 24 February, with the two Premier League sides due to meet on Wednesday night.

Parkinson says he would prefer a final against Swansea, who have a two-goal lead going into the second leg of the semi-final.

"I think a Swansea City against Bradford City final would be great for football," he told BBC Sport.

"These competitions are normally always won by the big teams so it would be great for us to meet them.

"We'll go there as underdogs and we will definitely enjoy it."

City have fallen off the pace in their push for promotion from League Two and have failed to win in the league since Boxing Day.

After beating Villa 3-1 on 8 January, Bradford lost 2-1 at home to Oxford before being beaten 4-1 by Crewe in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy.

Bradford go bonkers at final whistle

But Parkinson is confident that, despite the distraction of a cup final, his side has enough strength to win promotion.

He said: "The cup is probably bigger now because we're in the final but we're greedy and we want both.

"We've found it difficult to get going after some of our cup games and that is understandable.

"Having said that, I think we're good enough to get our league campaign back on track and look forward to our Wembley game."

The Bantams return to league action with a home match against Wycombe on Saturday.