Derek Adams is feeling the pressure of expectation at Bradford City. With his incredible track record for promotion, many fans expected a title challenge while at the club. However, the promotion run has slowed to a crawl as the Bantam’s slump in form continues.
Derek Adams is Facing a Tough Spell at Bradford With No Wins in Seven Games
City Are Also Experiencing a Miniature Injury Crisis With Some Big Names Still Sidelined
With no wins in the last seven games, the pressure to succeed is mounting. And the main cause for concern at Bradford City is once again goals. The curse of the strikers’ graveyard is in full swing. Since the days of Nahki Wells and James Hanson, City are yet to replicate that successful pairing.
With four recognised strikers in the team, the Bantams looked well stocked. Therefore, it is surprising that they have managed just three goals in their last seven games. It seems, as before with Lee Novak, Andy Cook is taking the brunt of the goal-scoring expectation. Especially as some of the forwards seem to be struggling for fitness. Both Lee Angol and Caolan Lavery are suffering with their fitness and Theo Robinson is a new addition who is clearly not up to speed. With Robinson needing time to bed in, it leaves Cook as the main man. There are others in the team that must share this burden to relieve the expectation from Andy Cook.
Speaking after his side’s defeat against Crawley Town, Derek Adams highlighted the struggle for goals: “We were hoping for a goal. We weren’t expecting a goal. On the whole, we didn’t do well enough. It just was not good enough. I can only apologise to the supporters, it was a dreadful performance.”
Restricting Injuries or Lack of Innovation
Interestingly, Adams is bullish to defend his team selection. As reported in the Manchester Evening News, speaking after a defeat against Manchester United U21s, Adams clearly states chances have been given and not taken by certain players:
He said: “I’ve given every single person at this football club an opportunity. I’ve seen them – the players that were here last year and the ones who have come in.”
He added: “I see on the training field how things go. Other people don’t get to see what I do and that’s why I’ve been picking the teams that I have.”
Potentially the brightest spark amongst the forwards is Charles Vernham. Vernham falls into that gap of not quite being a striker but being more direct than a winger, the modern-day ‘forward’ player. Vernham’s enthusiasm is clear to see and he is enjoying his time on the left-hand side. Despite a strong start, Vernham is now also injured. Abo Eisa, another forward player, is also capable of scoring goals. However, Eisa seems to be struggling to regain his fitness from a groin injury and will not be available for the foreseeable future. The lack of these two players will limit Adam’s ability to mix up his starting eleven.
As well as this, Derek Adams seems content to use underperforming players. Ollie Crankshaw, who has just signed for Stockport County, was continually overlooked by Adams despite his good performances. Gareth Evans on the other hand has been woeful but remains in the starting line-up. The departure of Crankshaw is therefore baffling. Fans are becoming restless with the rigidity displayed by Adams lineups. but it looks like the status quo won’t change while we wait for the injured players to return to fitness.
Bradford City take on Rochdale, a team level on points in the table, next as the Bantams hope to return to winning ways.