Bradford V Sunderland at Coral Windows Stadium - Match Preview

Last updated : 14 February 2015
Bradford V Sunderland - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.Williams making Cup run countBradford goalkeeper Ben Williams is determined to count each one of the Bantams' FA Cup glory days as a bonus after a fighting back from a bout of meningitis doctors feared he would not survive.Former Manchester United trainee Williams spent four days in a medically induced coma when the illness hit unexpectedly in 2005 as he was seeking to forge a new career at Crewe.And even though a decade has passed since his scare, the 32-year-old admits his experience makes games like Sunday's fifth clash with Sunderland at a sold-out Valley Parade that little bit extra-special.Williams told Press Association Sport: "The illness was an overnight surprise and at one point doctors feared my life might be over."After a few weeks they told me it was highly unlikely I could compete at a professional level again and I would need 18 months to get back running - but I was back in the game within three months."It is 10 years since it happened but it makes you more grateful for your successes, and seeing my wife and eldest son celebrating our win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge filled me with pride and satisfaction."Despite the inevitable disappointment of leaving Old Trafford and further setbacks including his release from Hibernian last summer, it is perhaps what makes Williams so eager to shrug off the suggestion that the high points in his career have not come easily.The Bantams have been working hard to repair their bare Valley Parade pitch this week and it could prove a factor in Phil Parkinson's men building on their famous win at Stamford Bridge with another top-flight scalp.Given his side's three-match unbeaten run in the wake of the win at Chelsea, contrasting with Sunderland's plunge back into trouble after a dismal midweek home loss to QPR, there are some who would not count another win for the League One side as a major surprise.But Williams is anxious to play down any suggestions that Bradford go into the game on Sunday as anything other than significant underdogs.Williams added: "Of course after the last round people are going to expect big things from us but we are playing against a fantastic team with world-class players and they definitely go into the game as favourites."Williams will return to the starting line-up in place of first choice Jordan Pickford, who will not be facing his parent club.Striker Billy Clarke will be hoping to retain his place, while Andy Halliday is pushing for a recall and recent signing Gary MacKenzie is in contention for his first appearance for the club.Gus Poyet has insisted he will continue to do it his way as he attempts to rid Sunderland of their footballing schizophrenia.The Black Cats' head coach was horrified to see his team revert to type on Tuesday evening when their four-game unbeaten run in all competitions went up in flames as previously pointless travellers QPR left the Stadium of Light with the most rare of victories.Poyet later accused his players of responding to the frustrations of the home crowd by abandoning the philosophy he has attempted to instil over the last 16 months and suggested the fans wanted them to play long-ball football, prompting a social media backlash.However, the 47-year-old was largely unrepentant as he prepared for Sunday's clash at Bradford.Asked if he stands by his method, he said: "Yes, because I have done it all the time, because I believe in what I do, because I am trying to adapt a lot to what is needed."I know more what people like and what people don't like, I know the atmosphere that we need to play at the Stadium of Light, I know that it doesn't matter what you say or what you do, it's all about winning football games."I am hearing plenty of managers saying the right words week in, week out and then seeing plenty of big banners asking for the head of the manager."Does it mean that if I say the right words that people want to hear, I am going to be in the job? I want to be in the job because we win football games and we play the way I think we should play."How close? How far? I don't know, we'll see, so I am not bothered at all, I promise you."Sunderland will once again be backed by a travelling following of around 4,000 at the Coral Windows Stadium, hoping to see their side reach the quarter-finals for the second successive season.Midfielder Jack Rodwell will return to the squad after suspension and a groin injury, but full-back Anthony Reveillere (hamstring) is doubtful, while Emanuele Giaccherini (ankle) and Lee Cattermole (knee) remain sidelined

Source : PA

Source: PA

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