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McArdle expects Bantams banter as Parkinson faces off against former club Bradford

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karlypants

karlypants
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Bradford City defender Rory McArdle believes there will be a healthy amount of respect for Phil Parkinson among a packed out away support at the Macron this weekend.

Wanderers are currently expecting 4,300 Bantams fans in what is likely to be their biggest third tier gate in 23 years.

Around 16,000 tickets have been sold thus far to see Parkinson lead his Whites out against the club he rescued from the lower reaches of League Two just five years ago.

McArdle, one of the trusted lieutenants he left behind at Valley Parade, hopes his former manager’s achievements are given due recognition despite the healthy rivalry which has recently developed between the two clubs.

“I think he will (get a good reception) if you look at what he did for the club,” said the Northern Ireland international, signed by Parkinson in 2012 from Aberdeen. “But I also know what football fans are like and some might still think him going left a sour taste in their mouth.

“Look at the bigger picture and where we are now and you’ll see what he did.

“Majority of fans might give him a bit of a boo at first but he’ll also get a good clap.

“It will be a bit strange to see the manager in the opposite dugout probably shouting at us.

“It doesn’t really surprise me about the amount of tickets that we’ve sold.

“Since I’ve been at the club the away support has been absolutely brilliant.”

Parkinson left Bradford in July shortly after the Yorkshire club was taken over by German businessmen Edin Rahic and Stefan Rupp.

He had been high on Wanderers’ shortlist for much of the summer but the amount of compensation being sought – reported at one point to be £200,000 – looked likely to be a stumbling block.

Parkinson, who has since admitted he felt a need for a change of scenery after five years with Bradford, was eventually prized away for a tiny fraction of that fee, with Stuart McCall succeeding him for a second stint at the club.

McArdle admits his departure did come as a shock to the players.

“I was a bit surprised,” he said. “It came out the blue.

“I know the gaffer came out and said he wanted a clean break and maybe the new owners wanted to get their own man in. At the minute it’s worked out fine. The gaffer moved on, the new one came in and put his own stamp on it.”

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