Scouting report: Bradford City

A closer look at the Bantams ahead of their visit to Macron Stadium this weekend

Ahead of Wanderers' meeting with Bradford City, takes a closer look at Stuart McCall’s side…

Sitting just a point and two places behind the Whites, the Bantams – backed by around 4,300 supporters - will arrive at Macron Stadium on Saturday afternoon eager to make their mark on the division and put their play-off disappointment of earlier this year behind them.

The City faithful have endured a number of close calls in terms of their hopes of securing Championship football in recent years after being promoted to League One via the play-offs back in 2013.

Last season’s heartbreak however came in the form of a two-legged semi-final reverse to Millwall, suffering a 3-1 defeat at Valley Parade before a 1-1 draw at The Den back in May – a game which current Bolton striker Jamie Proctor notched in for the Bantams.

Now firmly determined to make it back to English football’s second tier for the first time since 2004 though, they are certainly going about it the right way and currently boast an unbeaten record in their league efforts.

With three wins to their name so far however, five draws – including four in their last four outings – have stopped them from topping the pile with Scunthorpe currently occupying first position in the league standings.

  • D 1-1 – Oldham Athletic H - Sky Bet League One, 27/8/16 
  • W 1-0 – Stoke City U23s H – Checkatrade Trophy, 30/8/2016 
  • D 1-1 – Millwall A - Sky Bet League One, 3/9/2016
  • D 1-1 – Gillingham A - Sky Bet League One, 10/9/2016
  • D 1-1 – Bristol Rovers H - Sky Bet League One, 17/9/2016 
Returning to Valley Parade for a second spell in permanent charge of the Bantams earlier this summer, McCall has certainly enjoyed a relatively successful start to his latest tenure at the club with his team currently sitting fourth in Sky Bet League One. 

Back in his playing days meanwhile, it was with Bradford that the former midfielder started his career back in the early 1980s after joining them as a teenager, going on to spent six years with the Yorkshire outfit before moving onto pastures new with Everton in 1988. 

Three years at Goodison followed meanwhile before a seven-year stint north of the border with Rangers – one which saw him win six league titles whilst at Ibrox. 

Returning to his spiritual home of Bradford however in 1998, he spent a further four seasons with the Bantams before ending his career with a spell at Sheffield United. Moving into management with today’s opponents in 2007 where he remained for three years, McCall returned to Scotland once again between 2010 and 2015 where he managed both Motherwell and Rangers. 

Taking up an assistant role with the Scottish national team following his departure from the latter, he made the decision to come back to Valley Parade in June after Phil Parkinson had moved to Macron Stadium.

Diminutive forward Clarke has certainly impressed in the English game over the course of the past four years courtesy of his stints with both this weekend’s visitors and Crawley Town. During the early years of his career however, it was with Ipswich Town that the Irishman first made his name after joining the Tractor Boys as a youngster. 

Spending four years as a professional at Portman Road, the striker also enjoyed loan spells with Colchester United, Falkirk, Darlington, Northampton and Brentford before making the move north on a permanent basis with Blackpool. 

Winning promotion to the top flight with the Bloomfield Road outfit in 2010, he remained with the Seasiders until the end of the 2011/12 campaign but did spent a temporary stint with Sheffield United in late 2011. 

Making the switch to Crawley four-and-a-half years ago meanwhile, Clarke scored 24 goals in 92 appearances before moving to Valley Parade in July 2014 where he has since notched 20 times for the club.

LAST BRADFORD CITY XI (v Bristol Rovers, D 1-1)
Doyle, Darby, Vincelot, Knight-Percival, Meredith, Law, Dieng, Cullen, Marshall, B Clarke, Hanson

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