• Capital One Cup

Bradford manager Parkinson in 'dreamland'

ESPN staff
January 22, 2013
Bradford manager Phil Parkinson reacts to the final whistle being blown © PA Photos

An ecstatic Phil Parkinson was beaming with pride after he saw his Bradford City side beat Aston Villa 4-3 on aggregate to reach the Capital One Cup final.

Despite losing 2-1 on the night to Andreas Weimann's late strike, James Hanson's powerful header in the 55th minute proved to be the goal which sent the League Two side to Wembley.

"Coming here two goals up we had a great chance,'' Parkinson said. "In the first half Villa were excellent but in the second I thought we were excellent and deserved it.

"We felt in the first half we didn't pass the ball and in the second we got hold of the ball and had a period of possession. We knew Villa are an attacking team that would leave space for us. It's dreamland. We said we had a chance to make history and it's absolutely tremendous.''

Despite knocking out Wigan, Arsenal and now Villa, Parkinson was cautious when asked about the chances of his side lifting the trophy against Swansea or European champions Chelsea at Wembley.

"I think that's going a bit far, but to get to Wembley is great for us,'' he told Sky Sports.

Bradford striker James Hanson was understandably jubilant after the victory, although he thought Villa would pose a stronger challenge.

"I can't believe it, it really hasn't sunk in yet,'' Hanson said. "The lads dug in in the first half and I thought we were going to have our backs to the wall tonight. But we were actually pretty comfortable in the second half and we held on well.''

Bradford goalkeeper Matt Duke said: "I'm speechless. The lads had a fantastic game tonight and the fans as well, it'll be a great day at Wembley for them. Everyone had a great game. At 3-1 up [from the first leg], if we scored we fancied our chances and we fancied ourselves from set-pieces.

"As a kid playing football, you dream of Wembley and we're going to do it. We're going to take a League Two club to Wembley, we're going to take a massive following, it's going to be an amazing day and I'm looking forward to it.''

Duke was still struggling to comprehend Bradford's efforts as they became the first club from the lowest tier of English football to reach the League Cup final since Rochdale in 1962.

"I've still got to believe it. When we scored we had a chance,'' he added. "You could smell it in the dressing room before, could smell the chance. Full credit to the manager, the staff and everybody at the club. The fans came out in numbers to support us - it's fantastic.''

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