Rotherham United play host to Bradford City for their tenth game of a month that has seen them involved in three cup competitions, although they only retain an interest in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.
The business of their calendar could be taking its toll on a Rotherham side that have already had to overcome a 17 point deduction to find themselves level with Grimsby Town whose first victory didn’t come until Saturday.
In their last six league games the Millers have lost three and drawn two whilst also conceding a fair few goals – seven this week alone (league and cup)!
The Bantams however have tightened up at the back restricting MK Dons and Wycombe to only a single goal apiece. Unfortunately, the absence of Joe Colbeck amongst others seems to be dampening the attacking prowess of a previously rampant Bradford City.
Now we’re inconsistently rampant! Tight one-nil games here, ridiculous scoring draws there.
With injuries continuing to plague the midfield it will come as something of a relief for Stuart McCall that his walking wounded are nearing eligibility for involvement. The game comes too soon for Dean Furman or Lee Bullock but Kyle Nix is eager to get onto the pitch and show what he can do when fully fit.
Last season the Bantams had Alex Rhodes to thank for his inspirational performance at Valley Parade against the Millers and it could have been on the back of that game that Mark Robins took the winger to the Don Valley where he has established himself as a fixture in the side. He’ll be looking to show Stuart what he’s missing.
Stuart McCall was full of praise for his opponents as he told the Telegraph & Argus, ‘On normal circumstances they would have been one point behind us on twenty-six and they’ve had some terrific cup results. They’ve had good results at home even though it’s hard to create an atmosphere because the stands are so far away from the pitch. But, I’m sure they will raise their game infront of a larger crowd.
‘The manager, players and supporters deserve every bit of credit going and, make no mistake about it, we know we have to play well on Saturday.’
Rotherham United Team News:
Goalkeeper Andy Warrington is injured and Mark Robins will have to turn to youngster Steven Cann after failing to find cover in the loan market.
Skipper Pablo Mills also faces a late fitness test on a stomach problem
Player to watch: Alex Rhodes
Cos he’s an ex-Bantam and will be out to make a point.
Bradford City Team News:
Rhys Evans will keep goal.
Paul Heckingbottom may return to the side after coming through a reserves fixture and to give Luke O’Brien a rest but otherwise TJ Moncur will be at right back with Graeme Lee and Matt Clarke in the centre.
Midfield will see Omar Daley on the left, Nicky Law continue on the right and Paul McLaren and Tom Clarke in the middle. That is unless Kyle Nix persuades Stuart to consider him in which case he may feature in the centre or on the left wing with Omar switching to the right and Nicky Law playing alongside McLaren.
Up front Barry Conlon is still looking to do enough to warrant a contract extension, and Peter Thorne has faced some recent criticism whilst Michael Boulding is trying to force his way onto the pitch. No other attacking player seems to get a look in so it’s unlikely that it won’t be two from those three.
Player to watch: Graeme Lee
The defence has got meaner in recent games but we need to continue that and begin to claim clean sheets. That starts with the captain marshalling his troops. He’s been getting back to his best, lets hope he can dominate tomorrow.
Match Facts & Stats
Last year we drew and Millmoor and won at Valley Parade. We need to get at least 4 points from our two games this season to stay ahead of our 2007/08 performance.
FA Cup Saturday next week when the Bantams host Leyton Orient.
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