Belfast Telegraph

Bradford chief tips another famous FA Cup upset

By Robert Jones

Bradford co-chairman Mark Lawn is backing his FA Cup heroes to beat either Sunderland or Fulham in the competition's fifth round.

Last night's draw pitched Chelsea's unlikely conquerors into a home tie with either Gus Poyet's Premier League Black Cats or Kit Symons' Championship side, who are due to replay next week after a 0-0 draw on Saturday.

While most Bradford fans were hoping for a tie with Arsenal or Manchester United, a home clash will be welcomed and Lawn is of the opinion that neither Sunderland nor Fulham will fancy the trip to West Yorkshire on the weekend of February 14/15.

"We're at home. I think we can win at home," he said. "They won't want to come down here and get the fans bouncing. I don't think Sunderland or Fulham will want to come to Valley Parade."

City's 4-2 win at Chelsea - having been 2-0 down to the Premier League leaders - is already one of the cup's greatest upsets and another feather in the cap of manager Phil Parkinson.

The former Charlton boss oversaw Bradford's run to the League Cup final in 2013 and earlier this season took the scalp of Leeds in the same competition.

Lawn, though, is confident that his man will stay at the helm despite the interest he is likely to generate.

"He's got 18 months left to run and we don't want him to go anywhere," he added.

City last faced Sunderland back in December 2003, when they lost 3-0 with a side containing the likes of Wayne Jacobs and Dean Windass. Their last meeting with Fulham came further back in 1994, a 0-0 draw.

Bradford were not the only side to cause a shock at the weekend, with Middlesbrough's 2-0 win at Manchester City equally worthy of praise. Aitor Karanka's Championship high-flyers will now head to holders Arsenal, who beat Brighton on Sunday.

League Two Cambridge, who held Manchester United to a home draw, go to Old Trafford next week with the winners headed for a tie against Sheffield United or Preston. North End boss Simon Grayson has met Manchester United before, knocking them out while with Leeds.

Crystal Palace await the winners of the replay between Bolton and Liverpool, while Leicester and Aston Villa square off in a midlands derby. West Brom - victors over Birmingham - are at home to West Ham, who rode a storm against Bristol City on Sunday.

Blackburn lie in wait for last night's winners Stoke, while Steve McClaren's Derby v Reading wraps up the draw.

FA Cup draw

Crystal Palace v Liverpool/Bolton

Arsenal v Middlesbrough

Aston Villa v Leicester

West Brom v West Ham

Bradford v Sunderland/Fulham

Blackburn v Stoke City

Derby v Reading

Preston/Sheffield United v Cambridge/Manchester United

Ties to be played across the weekend of February 14 and 15

Belfast Telegraph


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