Bradford City Off To Wembley!
23 January 2013, 05:43 | Updated: 30 March 2016, 13:50
Phil Parkinson believes his Bradford players deserve to be honoured in the same way as the club's 1911 FA Cup winning-side after reaching the Capital One Cup final at Wembley.
The npower League Two outfit claimed a third Barclays Premier League scalp in the competition when they defeated Aston Villa 4-3 on aggregate despite losing the second leg 2-1 at Villa Park last night.
Striker James Hanson, who was stacking shelves in a supermarket only three years ago, scored the decisive second-leg goal to set up a final meeting with either Swansea or Chelsea.
Bradford are only the second fourth-tier club to reach the final of the competition after Rochdale in 1962 and will face the winners of tonight's semi-final between Swansea and Chelsea.
Parkinson said: "These lads will be remembered in the history of Bradford City for years to come.
"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.''
Bradford have twice gone into administration since being relegated from the Premier League more than a decade ago.
Hanson was the only player in the side to have cost a transfer fee - #7,500 when he moved from Guiseley three seasons ago.
But Parkinson is confident the current cup run, in which Bradford have also knocked out Wigan and Arsenal, will help to make the Bantams financially secure for the forseeable future.
He said: "Financially, the money we have earned up until this point has been fantastic.
"But 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.
"Our supporters have stuck with the club through some really tough times. Over the last 10 years there hasn't been a great deal to cheer about being a Bradford City supporter.
"I'm so pleased that we've given them something so they can go into work and hold their heads up high and be proud of the club.''
Parkinson admitted: "This has been the highlight of my career. It's got to be, to take the club to a Wembley final.
"A lot of players, a lot of managers, never get this opportunity to be in a semi-final. To take a team from League Two to Wembley is a dream and we are going to savour every minute.''
Hanson defied a broken toe to score the winner.
Parkinson said: ``He hasn't trained for 10 days. He's had a crack in the bone in his toe. He trained yesterday for the first time, he had an injection five or 10 minutes before kick-off.