Phil Parkinson says he is proud that every one of the 6,000 travelling Bradford fans will remember their side’s victory over Chelsea for the rest of their lives.
The Bantams came from two goals down to record a memorable 4-2 FA Cup Fourth Round win at Stamford Bridge, and the Bradford manager says that giving the fans an experience to remember was always at the forefront of their minds.
“I spoke to the players in the week about focusing now on putting in a performance to send every one of them back up the motorway proud of their team,” he said.
Chelsea 2-4 Bradford
Saturday 24 January
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“That was the aim, and I think the ones who got the tickets will never forget what they’ve seen today."
In a closely-fought contest, Chelsea raced ahead through Gary Cahill and Ramires.
But goals from Jon Stead, Filipe Morais, Andy Halliday and Mark Yeates turned the tie on its head, to the delight of the travelling brigade.
“When we were on the pitch celebrating at the end it did feel a bit surreal,” added Parkinson.
“To come to the league leaders and score four goals is a great feeling, and it will be remembered in Bradford for a long time.
“We showed so much character, we were playing against some world class players today.
“To be 2-0 down and to see that their heads never dropped was outstanding.”
After the game Jose Mourinho congratulated Chelsea’s conquerors in person in the opposition dressing room.
But he said the defeat – Chelsea's first against lower league opposition for seven years – was unacceptable.
“I feel happy for them,” said the Portuguese. “Despite my bad feelings about the game and the result I could find space to feel happy for them.
“But by another side I feel ashamed, and I think the players should feel exactly the same as I feel.”
It was the first time an away side has ever put four past a Mourinho team at Stamford Bridge, and the Chelsea manager ended by saying that the element of surprise makes the competition what it is.
“I feel ashamed, and I think the players should feel exactly the same”
Jose Mourinho Chelsea manager
“This is the beauty of football, this is the beauty of The FA Cup,” he added.
“In not many sports it is not possible that the best player or team can lose against another team with completely different potential.
“And it is the beauty of the FA Cup because it happens more times in The FA Cup than in any other country.”
But it will be Parkinson’s team who will be in Monday’s Fifth Round draw, and asked if he had anyone in mind he replied: “If Manchester United can get through against Cambridge we’d love to have a go against them.
“I’m sure if we went to Old Trafford we’d probably have about 15,000 fans there, and it would be nice to give all the ones who couldn’t get tickets today another day of Cup football.”