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Wednesday, 8 January 2014
The Inside Line: Bradford City (11/01/2014)
Over to Lewis Hancock again for this week’s 'Inside Line’ on the Bantams, Bradford City
It’s been a rollercoaster of emotions since the opening day of the
season and now halfway through the campaign, it’s about time things started
going City’s way!
Steve Cotterill’s appointment divided fans’ opinion, but after
only one loss in all competitions since he took over and two wins on the
bounce, Cotterill is certainly turning heads. Securing Karleigh Osborne on a permanent basis
and Tyrone Barnett on loan until the end of the season won't have done him any
However, let’s not jump the gun. The same was being said about
Sean O’Driscoll prior to his sacking and, on paper, January is set to be a very
tricky month in League One, starting with Bradford City away.
Having flirted with the play-off places for most of the season,
the Bantams seem to have tailed off of late and now find themselves in
City haven’t won against Bradford for 18 years and the task to gain points at
Valley Parade will prove a tough task considering 1989 was the last time City
collected all three points there.
am personally quite happy with our place at the moment. We started the season
superbly but have tailed off as of late due to a lack of form and injuries to
key players. That has been a bit of worry but I think it's to be expected from
a newly promoted club to go through a bad spell. As mentioned in my first ‘Inside
Line’, I am quite happy to consolidate this season, understand what we need to
further improve the squad and aim to be more competitive in this league.
everyone at Bradford still pleased with the work Phil Parkinson is doing? Are
you surprised that managerless Championship clubs haven’t asked to speak to him?
is a very small undercurrent of discontentment at present. With one win in
sixteen, some are starting to get frustrated however I think these fans are
short sighted. Admittedly we haven't played well lately but he's the best
manager the club have had in a decade and I believe he should be given the time
and funds to get us out of this current rut. On the whole I think the majority
of fans are still very much behind him.
not surprised he's not been linked with other jobs to be honest. Parkinson and
his key back room staff signed three year deals in the summer and the club have
invested, both in him and behind the scenes (new training equipment for
example). I think (hope) a plan has been put in place by the club’s hierarchy
and I think Phil is a person who wants to steer that ship.
been seven games since Bradford last registered a win in the league, why the
recent dip in form?
a few contributing factors to why we've dipped. We lost the heartbeat of our
team in Andrew Davies. He's been out since October and we've missed his
commanding presence and character at the back.
injuries have demonstrated that our squad, whilst solid, is not strong enough
in terms of depth. This has coincided with people losing form and we haven't
had the same quality of player to replace them.
I'm sure confidence is a big thing. We haven't played horrendously badly
(in the games I have seen) but when things don't go our way I think players are
starting to second guess themselves.
we keep going behind in games. It's hard enough to win games in this league
without giving opponents a head start.
opening his account against City on the opening day of the season, Nahki Wells
has scored a further 14 goals in all competitions. How influential is he and
will Bradford struggle to hold onto him in the transfer window?
think Nahki’s goals speak for themselves and demonstrate how influential he is
to our team and club. We could have lost several games during our recent run,
however he has been clinical in gaining us points we would traditionally lose.
am fairly sure he will leave this transfer window. With eighteen months on his
current contract (he has refused to look at the new one offered) and he has
stated he wants to play in the Championship or above, the club will be looking
to cash in. We can't risk keeping him and letting him go on a free. It's a
shame but you can't begrudge his ambition or criticise the board.
much all the teams in the Championship have been linked with him, whilst Aston
Villa and a few Premier League teams are apparently interested. It's going to
be a matter of waiting for the best deal and cashing in.
any Bradford player surprised you so far this season?
has taken to this league very well and looks a class above. However, a lot of
his success is down to the hard work of his strike partner James Hanson. I picked out Hanson at the start of the season and he has been brilliant so far.
one that has really shone though has been our right back Stephen Darby. In a
time where our defence has made mistakes and not performed to its best, Darby
has consistently been fantastic. Slender in stature, he is a ferocious tackler
and someone who reads the game wonderfully well. He won't ever get the plaudits
like Wells or Hanson but I think every fan who has watched him this season has
been impressed by his leadership and consistency.
than Wells, who has the potential to cause City some harm on Saturday?
not sure if Wells will play yet. He picked up a hamstring strain before the New
Year and with transfer talks ongoing he may sit out (although Parkinson says he
won't). Speaking to [The Exiled Robin]
recently, he mentioned your defensive frailties, so with this in mind James Hanson will severely test them and will
be the person to look out for. Kyle Reid -our left winger- also has the
potential to cause problems but he is hit and miss.
in the side should Parkinson look to strengthen this month? Who are realistic
are short in the midfield so I would hope for both a centre midfielder and a
winger. Also with the impending departure of Nahki, we'll need another
have an out/in policy, so everything depends on who we can shift off the wage
bill. Parkinson has mentioned that he may look to bring in young Premiership
loanees. He has been tight lipped at the moment but things should become a lot
clearer once the Wells situation has been clarified and sorted.
two Wembley appearances last year, do Bradford have what it takes to sneak into
the play-offs this time around?
last year, I believe anything can happen! It's important the confidence picks
up soon because if we continue to play as we are, we could be dragged into a
relegation battle. We proved last year with ten or so games to go that a season
is not over, but it's important we start to pick up some wins. Also, a lot
depends on how the team cope without Nahki. It really could go either way.
can I have a prediction for the match?
Wells plays, he scores the winner in what could be his last game at Valley
Parade. If not, a score draw.
A romantic prediction from Mesh if their golden boy makes it onto the pitch. For City's sake, let's hope he doesn't for one reason or another and we can keep the momentum up.