In the last few weeks the Bantams’ form has turned a corner. Four wins from their last six outings has changed the league table, and the mood around the ground. Eight home goals against Cheltenham and Oxford might also have had something to do with it.
However, it has been nearly three weeks since Omar Daley’s third goal in two games consigned Bury to home defeat and the Bantams have technically lost two on the spin first in the FA Cup and then at Wycombe last Saturday.
A couple of questionable refereeing decisions dominated the post-match discussions with the deciding goal drawing significant criticism. However, the ire raining down on Mick Russell had more to do with his treatment of Tommy Doherty and Dave Winfield. A red card for the former and not for the latter. Justice, of sorts, has been done with Doherty’s three match ban reduced to a single game but it still means he is unavailable for today’s proceedings.
Trying to restore faith in the refereeing profession is a certain Stuart Attwell. Well known to football fans across the country we have profiled him here.
The Silkmen come into this game with a topsy turvy start to the season. After 2 points from the opening 15 today’s guests have improved taking 20 from their subsequent 33 – in excess of 1.5 points per game. Not only that but they are still in the FA Cup after a penalty shoot out victory over Southend. Last time out in the league they beat Aldershot 2-0 and put themselves into 10th. On the plus side, they haven’t won away from home for four games.
Peter Taylor is looking for his players to show a little bit more nous so that red cards like Tommy Doherty’s don’t become a habit. Speaking to the Telegraph & Argus he said ‘they need to be a bit more streetwise and I`ve told them that. We need to be a bit more aggressive and cleverer on Saturday. We have to bounce back, simple as that’. For the full interview follow this link.
Bradford City Team News:
The highest profile absentee will be Tommy Doherty after his red card last week. Thankfully it is only one game he’s missing.
James Hanson will hopefully shake off the hamstring injury that kept him out last weekend whilst Michael Flynn, Simon Ramsden, Lewis Hunt and Steve Williams remain sidelined.
The Bantams might line up as follows:
idgeley, O’Brien, Oliver, Kiernan, Rehman, Osborne, Syers, Adeyemi, Hendrie, Hanson, Daley with Evans, Bullock and Price hoping to make an appearance from the bench.
Player to watch: Dave Syers
Already notching five goals in all competitions this season I find the terrier like Syers a joy to watch. He doesn’t give the opposition the space on the ball they crave, gets into goal scoring positions and has a handy ability to distribute the ball. An absolute steal.
Macclesfield Town Team News:
Macclesfield boss Gary Simpson will see Carl Tremarco return to his back line after suspension. However, both striker Ricky Sappleton and defender Shaun Brisley are facing Christmas on the sidelines and won’t be back in contention until 2011.
Player to watch: Emile Sinclair
Last time the Bantams hosted Macclesfield Town they won 2-1. Emile Sinclair opened the scoring the visitors and the former Bradford City trainee could prove a handful for the Claret & Amber defence. He might have only scored 3 goals so far this season but netting last week against Southend might signal the start of some form.
Match Facts & Stats
Last season the Bantams went down to a largely self-inflicted defeat that I remember was quite depressing to watch. This in contrast to the reverse fixture where we hauled ourselves back from 2-0 down to claim a point at the Moss Rose.
The Bantams are back in action quickly with Accrington Stanley the visitors on Tuesday evening. Too often Winter’s evenings against Accrington have been miserable, hopefully this year starts a different trend.