Bradford City take on Newport County as the Bantams look to continue their recent run of form and continue their play-off push. Mark Trueman and Conor Sellars’ side have only one loss in 15 and although the fixture list is busy, the Bantams are, at the moment, coping well with the relentless pace.
Bradford City Are Four Points Away From the Play-Off Places
Games in Hand
Play-off hopefuls Bradford are proving to be tough to beat. Scoring late to rescue a point against Bolton Wanderers means the Bantams are within touching distance of the play-offs. Although, the game will have taken its toll on the Bradford players, who had a lot of running to do. After an open-ended first half, Bolton’s hold of the game grew. With the visitors relentlessly attacking, the Bantams’ running duties increased. Many of the City players were visibly tiring and may need a rest in the upcoming game against Newport County.
Speaking in the pre-match press conference, Bradford’s co-manager Sellars alluded to rotating players in the upcoming game: “Andy Cook was a battering ram for most of the game and Rowey came on and won the game for us so it’s nice to have two attacking players who can score goals and have different strengths.”
It is thought that Bradford will continue their one-in-one-out system, meaning Danny Rowe is likely to be starting against Newport. The midfield three of Levi Sutton, Callum Cooke and Elliot Watt will be candidates for a rest. The midfield trio have been almost ever-present in the 15 game run and all three players run hard yards. Bradford’s incredible performance levels in recent games will require adequate rest to perform to such high standards.
Sellars continued by reiterating the importance of keeping players fresh. He added: “We looked deadly on the counter but we didn’t have the quality and we’ve got to ask questions as to why that happened. I think fatigue, mental and physical, definitely played a part.” Therefore, Bradford’s fringe players will be key in continuing the unbeaten run.
The Cardiff City Stadium Will Host Both Newport and Bradford City
Newport County are currently residing in the play-offs in sixth place, four points ahead of the Bantams. The game is being played at the Cardiff City Stadium as the Rodney Parade pitch requires reparation. Exiles boss Michael Flynn, a former Bradford City captain, will pull no punches. The Exiles are a team that can, if unchecked, control the pace of the game with quick, short passing play.
Speaking to the South Wales Argus, Flynn knows both teams will be looking forward to playing on the Cardiff pitch: “Hopefully this will give us a boost in the right direction – I’d love to be out there playing on a fantastic surface at a fantastic stadium. The players should be relishing it, but the opposition will be as well”.
Flynn is hopeful his team will not defer from their usual game plan: “We’ve got no excuses because we train on a very good surface, so they should be used to the ‘silk’ and moving the ball quickly”.
Sellars also spoke of the potential benefits of playing the game at Cardiff City Stadium as Bradford hope to improve on their passing play: “The pitch is going to be in really good condition and that suits us to keep the ball better and not have to check all the time in possession”.
The battle for possession will be pivotal in the game in a vital playoff-chasing game.