A break of 8 days has almost put last Friday out of my mind. I was distracted by dissertation writing so it could be that the last week has passed a lot more quickly for the rest of you.
So, last Friday was horrible to watch. Peter Taylor has accused his players of being scared. I’ve accused Peter Taylor of squandering his prep period without settling on a formation, or a line up or a strategy that gives his team confidence in continuity.
And so, with the question of who will play and in what formation hanging over Valley Parade like an unfinished game of roulette we welcome Micky Adams’ Port Vale.
It’s his second season at the helm of the Valiants and after four games they find themselves in 5th place with 7 points. One of those points has come at home but they’ve got a 100% record on the road. Great.
Peter Taylor, known for his making the 1-0, backs to the wall victory his speciality said something surprising earlier in the week. “I actually think performance is more important than result. If I was a supporter, I`d want to see Bradford City run around more than Port Vale.
And as a manager, I want to come off the pitch saying we deserved to get something out of that.
I don`t want to say we deserved to get beaten because we were nervous and didn`t perform like I had to do last week.
It`s only our fifth league game, so there`s nothing crazy in that situation, but supporters want to see a team that are desperate to do well.’
Bradford City Team News:
Your guess is as good as mine. Hopefully we won’t see the 4231/424 that we had to endure for the first half on Friday night.
The self-reflective Jon McLaughlin continues to accept responsibility for goals he has conceded but will surely keep his place between the sticks.
In defence I would like to see Steve Williams and Shane Duff but Luke Oliver played well against Preston so was preferred against Southend whilst Peter Taylor has also indicated that Zesh might get a chance. Simon Ramsden won’t be fit so Lewis Hunt will probably continue at right back (not a move that makes me happy) and it will be a toss up between Luke O’Brien and Robbie Threlfall at left back. Luke had an uncharacteristically poor second half when everything he tried went wrong but at least he was getting into a position to make mistakes.
Midfield saw the tactic of ‘give it to Tommy’ executed perfectly but wasn’t followed by ‘give him options’. However, Mr Doherty will definitely be one of the middle men. Probably in a 3 alongside Adeyemi and Bullock although Syers played well when he came on.
Hanson was withdrawn at half time along with Moult so one wonders if they’ll get to play. Jake Speight has showed well in his brief cameos and it must be time for him to be considered for a start. Gareth Evans might play, so too Omar Daley or even Chib Chilaka.
Player to watch: Jake Speight
He botched his first impression but he has been quick to demonstrate the kind of willingness and effort that the Valley Parade faithful require above all else. He is likely to get the nod to start.
Port Vale Team News:
Geoff Horsfield has stoked the banter prior to the game by saying a victory for us would be an upset. We’re struggling and they’re playing well coming off their 2-1 win over Rochdale.
In terms of squad news Gareth Owen is fit despite being coming off in the defeat to Torquay. Ritchie Sutton is also back in contention after he was handed a six game ban whilst still at Nantwich.
Player to watch: Richards x 2
Marc has always been a threat, and over the summer he was joined by Justin. They spelt double trouble for Rochdale as they both netted. Hopefully we can keep them quiet today.
City’s next game is in Stockport next Saturday.