Football - Parkinson puts own future on back burner

Bradford manager Phil Parkinson has put all talk of a new contract on hold as he plots a route past Aston Villa in the return leg of Tuesday night's Capital One Cup semi-final, and a fairytale trip to Wembley.

PA Sport

Parkinson, 45, out of contract at Valley Parade in the summer, is also mapping an escape path out of npower League Two, but all talk of promotion, at Villa Park tonight at least, will also be placed on the backburner.

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

Since Parkinson's side embarked on the greatest giantkilling run in modern times, including famous victories over Wigan, Arsenal and Villa, his future has remained unresolved, but the former Colchester, Hull and Charlton boss and Bradford's joint chairman Mark Lawn are not unduly concerned.

"We're currently in negotiations," Lawn told Press Association Sport. "We want to keep Phil here and will pay him as much as we possibly can.

"We're a fourth-tier club and can't pay him mega-bucks. We won't be getting ourselves in financial trouble and going the same way this club went before.

"I've stated before on many occasions, I won't ever take Bradford City into administration. The main thing with the contract talks is that we've got games on a Saturday and Tuesday right through and we can't get time to talk.

"Phil doesn't want to take his eye off the ball. We need a couple of clear days to get it completed, but it will certainly be before Easter when something is sorted."

Turning his attention to tonight's return leg at Villa Park, Lawn added: "My heart says extra time and we win on penalties.

"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."

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