The signs remained positive last night that Northern Ireland international, Rory McArdle, would take his place in Bradford’s line-up for tomorrow’s Capital One Cup final against Swansea at Wembley.
The 25-year-old defender, who suffered an ankle injury at Fleetwood nearly three weeks ago, returned to training earlier this week.
McArdle was included in a provisional squad but has to pass a late fitness test and then beat off stiff comeptition for a place in the team from fit-again Andrew Davies, plus fellow centre-backs Michael Nelson and Carl McHugh.
Forward Garry Thompson is expected to start but there will be a free berth in attack with Andy Gray ineligible having already featured in the competition for Leeds.
Meanwhile, manager Phil Parkinson has broken with convention by claiming he would take a cup triumph over league success.
Parkinson’s task at the start of the season was to execute a rebuilding exercise that would begin the process of restoring Bradford to their former status as a Premier League club.
So far, Parkinson’s side have claimed three Premier League scalps in Wigan, Arsenal and Aston Villa.
And while some may prefer to talk about the bread and butter of weekly league combat, the 45-year-old from Chorley has his sights firmly set on the record books.
“All along the league has been our priority. I cannot hide away from that,” he said. “But we are in the final at Wembley and have a chance of getting into Europe. If we had the choice, it would have to be winning the cup.”