Date: 22nd August 2009 at 7:44am
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Stuart McCall is not yet into ‘must-win’ territory but the hard statistics of the first four games do not make palatable reading. 4 games played. 10 goals conceded. 0 goals scored. 1 point from a possible 9. 90th out of 92 league clubs.

Yet those statistics mask the encouraging signs on the pitch. Of course it is the result that counts but results come from performances. If we had produced 360 minutes of absolute detritus then we would deservedly be questioning our manager.

That he is up for question at all demonstrates the hurt that has attached itself to the second half of last year. Yet that came after our best start to a season in a decade.

Such is the fickle finger of fortune and one which has yet to point at Martin Allen. Appointed to the managerial hotseat last year the former Reading and Leicester City boss was unable to keep The Robins in League One. However, they’re looking good for a swift return after an unbeaten start to the season

Vital Quotes:

Stuart McCall speaking to the Yorkshire Post after Tuesday’s defeat. ‘In our opening two games against Notts County and Forest, we didn’t create enough chances. It was also difficult against Port Vale but we made enough chances to win several games on Tuesday night and that has to be a good sign.

‘Put it this way, I would be worried if we had not created chances like we did against Lincoln. We will play a lot worse than that and win games. We have to take that with us today.’

Cheltenham Town Team News:

After the last minute win over Rochdale Martin Allen looks set to name an unchanged side as midfielder Michael Pook is still out with knee ligament damage.

That means David Bird will continue there and Drissa Diallo deputise at the back. Not struggling with goals like the Bantams Allen may still choose to mix up his attacking options as he has 5 to pick from.

Player to watch: Elvis Hammond

With a name like that he attracts attention but with 2 goals in 3 games he should.

Bradford City Team News:

Stuart McCall is looking for someone, anyone to score a goal. After Tuesday’s 90 minutes when we had so many chances he will hope that we continue to get opportunities today.

Stuart is expected to name a largely unchanged side as Luke O’Brien has recovered from his knee injury.

Lee Bullock was not impressive on Tuesday night so Steve O’Leary, should he shake off his foot injury, may return to the side. This would be a good thing.

Up front Peter Thorne’s form would suggest him benched with Michael Boulding given an opportunity to link up with Gareth Evans. The captain’s armband means this is unlikely

Player to watch: Micheal Flynn

He’s only gone and opened his mouth to the T&A. This is not necessarily ever a good thing but it means he will have to follow up his words with actions. Hopefully ‘no more mr nice guy’ doesn’t result in his seeing red…

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