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League One

Phil Parkinson plotting for next season

26 April 2014

Bradford City manager Phil Parkinson said he is looking forward to a busy summer after his side's 2-1 home win against CrawleyTown as he looks to launch a promotion challenge.

Bradford, the third-best supported team in Sky Bet League 1 with average crowds above 13,000, captured national headlines last season after reaching the Capital One Cup final before winning promotion via the play-offs.

Now, after securing their League 1 future with a mid-table position, the City manager is aiming higher.

Bradford wound up their home programme with a late winner from substitute Garry Thompson and Parkinson said: "I am looking forward to the close season.

"Bradford are not a League Two club or a League One club - we aim to be higher than that - and I am excited about the challenge.

"We are going to finish in mid-table and we can go up another place if we win at Tranmere in our last match when Tranmere will be fighting for their lives.

"Unfortunately, though, we won't be one of the teams celebrating at the end of the season, but I want to be one of those teams and I am determined to reward our fantastic fans."

Before the match there was a minute's silence for the 56 people who lost their lives in the Valley Parade fire 29 years ago and Parkinson said: "This is a big day for the club because of the minute's silence.

"I mentioned that in the team talk - that we were representing a lot of people and that it was important to do them justice with the way we play.

"It was inevitable that there was a bit of an end-of-season feel about it.

"Crawley have had a lot of games in a short space of time and we have been under pressure to keep our League One status - we were pleased to get a win."

After an uneventful first half Bradford went in front after 50 minutes when Nathan Doyle found Aaron Mclean with a chipped pass over the visitors' defence and the striker scored with shot into the corner from 10 yards.

The goal came less than a minute after Crawley had almost taken the lead after the home defence had struggled to clear Gwion Edwards' corner - Jon McLaughlin managed to block Kyle McFadzean's shot before grabbing the ball at the second attempt.

Crawley equalised after 66 minutes through substitute Jamie Proctor following a misunderstanding between McLaughlin and substitute defender Carl McHugh.

McFadzean made a timely interception in his own half before finding Proctor with a through pass and, when McHugh left the ball to the advancing McLaughlin, Proctor nipped in between the two Bradford players to score with a smart lob from just outside the penalty area.

The match looked set to end in a draw before Thompson scored the winner with a close-range header from skipper Gary Jones' corner in the 85th minute.

Parkinson revealed that Mclean was not in the starting line-up until the morning of the match when leading goalscorer James Hanson's groin problem flared up.

Crawley manager John Gregory praised Proctor's contribution.

He said: "Substitutions can be very important when you are selecting your team.

"I hope Jamie doesn't get used to that sort of role. He can play some of his best football over 30 minutes, but he has got to produce over 90 minutes.

"After we fell behind I thought about putting Jamie on to play up front alongside Matt Tubbs and he scored a smartly-taken goal.

"We were comfortable at 1-1 and we had numerous chances to score a second goal.

"I thought we deserved at least a point, but there are no hard luck stories about where we finish this season.

"We have got to do better next season, particularly away from home.

"We particularly need to improve away from home against teams in the lower half of the league. These are the places where we have got to win.

"Going to Rotherham, Leyton Orient and MK Dons I don't have to say very much, but it is against teams in the bottom half of the table that we have a terrible record."

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