Injury Crisis at Bradford City Continues as Bantams Fall to Defeat Against Cheltenham Town

Bradford City Injury Crisis

An injury crisis at Bradford City is leaving Bantam’s manager Stuart McCall with a selection headache. With up to eight players out injured, McCall will need to be creative with his lineup in order to fill the gaps.

Injury Crisis at Bradford City Continues as Bantams Give up 1-0 Lead Versus Cheltenham Town

Mccall: “I’ve Been Through Difficult Times, Though Maybe Not as Bad as This Injury-Wise.”

Bradford City lost 2-1 to Cheltenham Town at Valley Parade last night, with the Bantams are in dire shape. Then perched precariously above the drop zone in 20th place, Bradford were firm underdogs against 2nd place Cheltenham.

Not only are Bradford struggling for points more importantly they are struggling for performances and players. Now in 21st place, with the relegation zone closer than ever, hysteria is building within the fanbase upon each defeat.

Now more than ever, McCall’s managerial skills will be tested. The Bradford City boss may need to change their tactical shape in light of the injury crisis. Clayton Donaldson, 36, headed home for the Bantams first in the 23rd minute. He is currently leading the line for Bradford, playing mostly every minute of every game without respite.

The injury to Reece Staunton, 18 is a very bitter blow. The left-sided centre back has been a shining star in an otherwise dark sky this season but the young defender will be out with a ‘high-grade hamstring tear’. Zeli Ismail, 26, is also suffering from a hamstring problem that reoccurred during his 12-minute cameo against Salford City. Lee Novak, 31, could be close to a return which would be a huge boost to the front line, however, McCall is unlikely to risk bringing players back too early after Gareth Evans and Ismail’s early returns have left them out for longer.

McCall may need to revert to a classic four at the back due to the lack of fit defenders. The Bantam’s manager also plans on using each of his five available substitutions in a bid to reduce injuries.

Bradford City Have Lost Four Out of Their Last Five Games

Considering the injury crisis, it is forgivable to think that this season’s performance is a result of that. However, Bradford’s decline has been a long and drawn-out affair. The injury crisis is just another hole in the hull of ‘HMS Bradford City’. Bradford’s inability to keep a clean sheet is worrying as well as the perpetual lack of confidence. McCall is keen to address this and is demanding his players to embrace the challenge.

McCall, before pre-match interview against Cheltenham, stated that his side needs to be resolute in defence:

“I watched a clip of one of their games and they had eight in the box for corners who are six-foot-plus. Aerially they get a lot of goals from set-plays and long throws.”

The opposition’s height and physical approach were important in the game. Cheltenham are unbeaten in six games and dominate from set-pieces. Despite this, and the depleted squad, McCall remained positive:

“It’s a challenge but we’ve got to come up with something where we can be resolute as well as a way where we can create and hurt them. We’ve got to carry a threat while being more difficult to play against.”

Bradford gave up a 1-0 lead, with the second goal resulting from a long throw and a failed attempt to clear their lines.

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