Cup Final: Rival Watch
21st February 2013
Jones' gratitude to Swans
Bradford captain Gary Jones paid tribute to Swansea City after they gave him his big break in the professional game.
The Birkenhead-born midfielder will come face-to-face with his former club on Sunday as the Bantams take on the Swans in the final of the Capital One Cup.
Jones made just eight appearances for the club during the 1997/1998 season, but he worked under three managers in Jan Molby, Micky Adams and Alan Cork.
Much has changed for both Jones and Swansea since then but the 35-year-old will forever be grateful to the Welsh club for giving him his chance in the professional game.
"Jan Molby signed me many years ago now and I'm very grateful for them for giving me my first professional contract," he told BBC Wales Sport.
"I wasn't there that long - I got shipped out to Rochdale on loan. Alan Cork released me after Micky Adams' two weeks in charge.
"It was disappointing but I'm grateful that they gave me my start in professional football. All things happen for a reason and obviously that's what happened.
"A lot of credit has got to go to them because of what they've achieved. They were in a position we are now so it just shows you what can be done with the right management, chairman and right backing.
"Hopefully we can take a leaf out of their book so we can be where they are in a few years' time."
Beagrie tips Bantams for set-piece success
Peter Beagrie believes Bradford can exploit Swansea from set-pieces in Sunday's Capital One Cup final.
The former Bradford star reckons the aerial threat of Phil Parkinson's side can be the difference at Wembley.
He has also been impressed with their fitness - which will be crucial on the biggest stage of them all.
"Set-pieces are Swansea's Achilles heel and Phil's certainly got the people to exploit that," he said.
"He's got the two big Macs at centre-half, who got the goals in the previous rounds, big James Hanson - and Andrew Davies is no shrinking violet to attacking the ball in the air, especially with the great delivery from Gary Jones.
"But it's not just the set-pieces. Phil has also got Bradford very organised and playing at a great tempo.
"He's got them fitter than I've seen any Bradford City side. Now it's all about maintaining that level of performance throughout and stopping quality players getting time on the ball."
Chairman: Cup win would beat promotion
Bradford joint chairman Julian Rhodes says he would rather win Sunday's League Cup final against Swansea than promotion from League Two this season.
City are the first fourth-tier side to reach a major Wembley Cup final but have been in League Two since 2007.
"I'd take winning the cup over promotion," said Rhodes. "It would be great to win promotion and I hope we can but I'm not expecting it and I'm not putting any pressure on Phil Parkinson or the players."
Despite City's historic run to the final, during which they have beaten three Premier League sides in Wigan, Arsenal and Aston Villa, Rhodes is realistic about his club's chances of becoming the first from the fourth tier to win the tournament and qualify for the Europa League.
"It is probably one of the greatest achievements in English football," he stated. "A fourth-tier team getting to a major Wembley final - this is massive.
"Obviously we are going hoping to win and we will prepare in the right way but the chances are we are not going to win.
"But even if we get murdered at Wembley it's going to be a great day out."