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Peter Beagrie: Bradford’s cup run spurred them onto promotion

Capital One Cup ambassador Peter Beagrie talks about Bradford's run to last season's final and his past experiences

Sportsbeat
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michael laudrup
Michael Laudrup's Swansea City won last season's Capital One CupPhoto: Back Page Images

Bradford City’s remarkable run to the Capital One Cup final last season brought back memories of my time with the Bantams in the Premier League over a decade ago.

But despite the 5-0 loss to Swansea in the final, it was actually that defeat that spurred them on to promotion from League Two.

Even though it looked like a hammering at Wembley in February, it was actually a moral victory for Bradford.

It’s devastating at the time to lose, but it was a day out for the club and it will never be repeated.

The cup run did hinder their season at first, they had to play an incredible amount of games last season, but then it seemed to galvanise them because they put a great league run together and it came from the spirit and belief garnered from that incredible cup run.

It was over a decade ago that I was at Bradford and they were in the Premier League. A lot of people focus on the demise of Leeds – from the semi-finals of the Champions League to the Championship – but Bradford’s fall is as catastrophic, if not more so.

When you cast your mind back at the heady days of the Premier League and little old Bradford surviving against all the odds, it’s hard to believe before last season’s promotion they were often just outside the relegation places of League Two, so nearly out of the Football League altogether.

It just shows that you can’t take anything for granted, but out of adversity came a remarkable season and Phil Parkinson will be looking to do something similar again.

It will be a tough game in the first round against Huddersfield Town, only if you have played in this game do you realise how vociferous and volatile this game is.

The close proximity of Huddersfield and Bradford makes it special to the fans, it’s certainly not a game for any shrinking violets.

It’s a tough one to go to Huddersfield and get a result, but Bradford have proved last year that they can cope with pressure, they saw off three Premier League teams in Wigan, Arsenal and Aston Villa.

It’s a competition that has always endeared itself to the players, with many of the fixtures being midweek it’s certainly held in very high esteem, and if Bradford can go to Huddersfield and quieten the crowd, why can’t they embark on another Capital One Cup run?

Peter Beagrie was speaking on behalf of credit card company Capital One, sponsor of The League Cup

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