Football - Lawn ready for rollercoaster ride

Bradford's joint chairman Mark Lawn is preparing as best as he can for some unbearable tension when his club bid to complete their fairytale journey to Wembley on Tuesday night at Aston Villa in the Capital One Cup semi-final second leg.

PA Sport
Football - Lawn ready for rollercoaster ride
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Mark Lawn expects Bradford's Capital One Cup semi-final second leg against Aston Villa to go to penalties

The Bantams, who will defend a 3-1 first-leg lead, stand on the threshold of another historic victory, one game away from becoming the first club in the bottom tier of English football to reach Wembley in a major cup final.

Lawn's nerves have had plenty of practice since Phil Parkinson's npower League Two side embarked on the greatest giantkilling run in modern times, with famous victories over Wigan, Arsenal and Villa, but the 52-year-old is set for another rollercoaster ride of emotion. "My heart says extra time and we win on penalties," he told Press Association Sport.

"I just know we're not going to do it the easy way, they'll put me through the wringer and I'm ready for it."

Rarely does a club from the lower divisions capture the country's imagination in a cup competition in the manner Bradford have done this season, and if Lawn's hunch proves correct and the tie does head for penalties, Parkinson's boys should not flinch.

They are already the shootout kings of British football, winning their ninth successive spot-kick showdown when defeating Arsenal 3-2 in the quarter-finals.

"It's been incredible," Lawn said. "You've got to look at where we've come from, where we are in the league.

"The effort has been amazing. The backroom staff and the cleaning ladies down at the training ground, I'd like to say a big thank you from the fans and the club.

"It's been beyond our wildest dreams. A very close friend of mine who sat next to me in the first leg said the return at Villa Park is our Wembley final.

"That's the way I'll be approaching it. My head says anything else is a bonus."

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