Scott Banks, the standout performer of the match, asserts that “the job is not done” despite Bradford City’s 1-0 triumph over Carlisle United in the Sky Bet League Two Play-Off Semi-Final First Leg at the University of Bradford Stadium. Jamie Walker’s crucial goal secured the win for the Bantams in a gritty encounter, earning Banks the Sky Sports Football Player of the Match award at Valley Parade.
Banks, a loanee from Crystal Palace, expressed his joy at the team’s determined and controlled first-half performance, which positioned Bradford City in the driver’s seat. However, he remained adamant that there is still work to be done ahead of the second leg scheduled for Saturday.
“I am delighted,” Banks said, clearly pleased with the narrow victory. “It was always going to be a tough and scrappy game, but to leave the first leg 1-0 up feels good. There was definitely clear determination from every one of the boys. We had real drive and passion to win the game. A big thanks go to the crowd for helping us pull through.”
The young Scot acknowledged the importance of an early goal and regarded Walker’s fifth goal of the season as a significant marker of their intent. Banks continued, “We know the job is not done – there is a lot to do – but we are pleased with the performance. We speak a lot about how much an early goal is important and how much freer we play when we go in front early. To do that was important and brilliant at the same time.”
Reflecting on their impressive display at Valley Parade, Banks couldn’t help but imagine the prospect of reaching Wembley but maintained a composed mindset heading into the second leg at Brunton Park. He stressed the need to stay focused and not get carried away with the current advantage.
“It is half-time in the tie,” Banks added, keeping his sights firmly on the task ahead. “We have to focus on the next 90 minutes in front of us and not get carried away. I would, of course, love to go to Wembley – I think everyone in the city would love it if we got there. We have done the first half, but we need to do the second part now.”
Praising the remarkable support from the Bradford City faithful, Banks credited the crowd for their exceptional backing throughout the season and particularly in this crucial encounter. The atmosphere at Valley Parade provided an extra boost for the players, driving them forward.
“On a personal note, when you are rushing around and pressing, and you can hear the crowd behind you, it just pushes you on,” Banks revealed. “It was a real special moment for all of us.”
As the Bantams approach the second leg, Scott Banks remains determined and focused on completing the job, understanding that their place in the League Two Play-Off Final is still within reach.