BILLY’S KNOTT SCARED OF TAKING ON BLACK CATS
IF EVER there was a team to epitomise the old adage ‘football isn’t played on paper’, surely it would be Bradford City.
And midfielder Billy Knott is confident that reputation is well-founded ahead of his side’s FA Cup fifth round clash against his old club Sunderland today.
The Bantams’ hard-fought journey to the Capital One Cup final in 2013 was the stuff of Yorkshire fairytales.
But even that remarkable journey may yet prove to be a footnote under- neath the epic tale of the 2015 FA Cup, following a remarkable turnaround at Stamford Bridge that saw the League One side come from 2-0 down to defeat Chelsea 4-2.
It might be supposed that all that giant-killing would become a bit of a distraction for Phil Parkinson’s side, who are also chasing promotion to the Championship.
But according to Knott, Bradford’s self-belief in knockout tournaments puts them in a strong position ahead of the eagerly-awaited arrival of the Black Cats to Valley Parade.
“We are going into the game full of
confidence and looking to do something to win this game,” said the 22-year-old midfielder.
“I think when you play the big teams it is just a one-off game, so that means we go into these matches genuinely thinking that we can win them.
“As we said before the Chelsea game, we’re not just in the FA Cup to make up the numbers.
“When we have needed to take our chances this season we have done, and although we will show Sunderland a lot of respect, we are in the game to try and go through.”
Knott is not the only former Sunder- land player hoping to play a starring role against the Premier League outfit, with Jon Stead likely to start up front alongside James Hanson. Stead found the net on that famous January afternoon against Chelsea, and says he is relishing the prospect of claiming another top-flight scalp.
“I am excited because I have seen the way the cupties have been over the last couple of years for Bradford,” he said. “It will be a huge occasion for the club, we’ll set out to do the business and we’ll see where that takes us.”
POSITIVE: Billy Knott
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