Bradford City v Leeds United: Parkinson speaks out in support of Hockaday

Phil Parkinson.
Phil Parkinson.
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Bradford City manager Phil Parkinson has spoken out in support of David Hockaday ahead of a cup tie at Valley Parade which could heap more pressure on Leeds United’s head coach.

Parkinson described speculation about Hockaday’s future as “crazy” and said others at Elland Road were “equally culpable” for United’s poor start to the season.

Hockaday came close to losing his job on Saturday after a 4-1 defeat to Watford - only his fifth competitive game in charge - provoked an angry reaction from club owner Massimo Cellino.

Cellino later backtracked and abandoned a plan to sack Hockaday, leaving the 56-year-old to prepare for tonight’s Capital One Cup second-round tie at League One Bradford.

City boss Parkinson said: “Dave’s working hard, like we all are, to piece a squad together to bring success to Leeds. For him to be the one whose head is about to roll after a defeat is crazy.

“One man stands in the dug-out and takes that responsibility but there are other people in that club who’ve got to be equally as culpable.

“For a manager to be under pressure after four (league) games is ridiculous. It does gripe on me.”

But Parkinson promised Leeds a difficult evening at Valley Parade, saying: “I want us to play like the underdogs. That means we’ll raise our game – the only way a team from the lower division will get through.”

ON THE BENCH: Samu Saiz.

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