The Bradford City play-off push is still on, but after back-to-back defeats look shaky. Performances are lacking their usual zip and Mark Trueman and Conor Sellars need to find a way to change this. Bradford host fellow play-off contenders Tranmere Rovers up next.
Both Teams Fighting for Play-Offs
Tranmere Holding Onto Fifth Whilst Bradford Sit 13th in Play-Off Push
Miraculously, Bradford City are still able to make the play-offs but face stiff competition. After a dreadful start to the season, the play-offs were the last thing on Bradford’s mind in December. However, a monumental change in form catapulted them into contention.
Unfortunately, this has slipped in recent weeks but with other play-off teams faltering, Bradford City could still make it. Management duo Mark Trueman and Conor Sellars are showing glimpses of greatness but also inexperience. They are being given the benefit of the doubt, rightly so, as they saved the season but with promotion still a possibility, the pressure is on.
Conor Sellars, in the prematch press conference, said: “Everybody wants to win games and get into the play-offs. Ultimately, at this moment in time, it just doesn’t seem to be falling for us. That happens to every team in the league at some point.”
Andy Cook will be pivotal in this encounter. The battering ram forward is in scintillating form for Bradford and they will need to supply Cook with some quality in order to exploit this. He is also a former Tranmere player, scoring 56 goals in 81 appearances.
The Bradford fans will rejoice in the return of midfielder Callum Cooke. Without Cooke, City picked up just 11 points from ten games. Out of the ten games, five of those were defeats. Centre back Niall Canavan will be out for the rest of the season with a hamstring injury and Lee Novak’s fitness is still being monitored.
Tranmere Rovers Looking to Turn Around Poor Form
Tranmere manager Keith Hill said in his prematch interview: “It’s going to be a great game, there will be a lot at stake, and we know the enormity of the game and we are looking forward to it.”
Hill is also looking above the play-offs and insists his team can still force their way into the automatic promotion places. Hill went on to say: “We are in a Play-Off position, and we are still striving to get in the automatics come the final league table.” The game against Bradford will give Tranmere a chance to regain their winning form.
Tranmere’s dip in form coincided with the loss of former Bradford striker James Vaughan. Vaughan is still recovering from an injury sustained two months ago. He has netted 21 goals for Tranmere who have since struggled to replace the striker’s presence. James Vaughan’s return is still doubtful. However, Vaughan, the ever-willing pantomime villain, will be desperate to face his former club. Jay Spearing is back in contention for Rovers following a suspension.
Last six games:
Bradford City LLWDWW
Tranmere Rovers DLDDLD
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