Bradford City v Port Vale: Cole is birthday gift for long-serving boss

Phil Parkinson
Phil Parkinson
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JULIAN RHODES has paid tribute to Phil Parkinson as the Bradford City manager prepares to celebrate his fourth anniversary in the job.

The Bantams’ chief is the sixth-longest serving manager in the country and will today take charge of his 225th game at the helm when Port Vale head to Valley Parade.

A new two-year contract has been all but agreed with Parkinson and Rhodes believes City are in safe hands.

“Just look at where we are now and where we were when Phil came to see how good a job he is doing,” said the Bradford joint chairman.

“We were sweating about going out of the Football League. And, while that first year was tough, we have since been to Wembley twice, won promotion, beaten Chelsea and now have 18,000 season ticket holders.

“Phil is doing an excellent job and let’s hope his anniversary can be marked with a much needed three points.”

Devante Cole could be in line for his City debut after signing a two-year deal yesterday following his release by Manchester City.

The son of former England striker Andy Cole, the 20-year-old had a spell on loan at Barnsley last season and is a big addition to the squad.

Parkinson believes Cole, who also had time at Milton Keynes Dons last term, will bring pace to a Bantams frontline that recently lost Billy Clarke for up to three months.

City have the option of another 12 months on top of the two-year deal Cole has signed. No transfer fee is understood to have been paid but Manchester City will be due a payment if Bradford sell the striker for a profit.

Rhodes added: “That is it for now, barring something catastrophic happening with injuries. We have a good squad of players with plenty of quality.”

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