Fleetwood Town v Bradford City: Bantams will ignore protection policy in return leg

Bradford's Romain Vincelot is tackled by Fleetwood's Connor McLaughlin in the first leg (
Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe)
Bradford's Romain Vincelot is tackled by Fleetwood's Connor McLaughlin in the first leg ( Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe)
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ROMAIN VINCELOT insists Bradford City will not head to Fleetwood Town tomorrow night with the intention of sitting back and hoping to defend their slender first-leg advantage.

A late strike from Rory McArdle means the Bantams are ahead at the ‘half-time’ stage for just the second time in five play-off semi-final appearances.

It is all about us and how we want to play. If we can dictate or not, there are plenty of things to adapt to during games. The gaffer will have our tactics and he won’t want to order us to defend.

Romain Vincelot

If City, the Football League’s draw specialists with 19 during the regular season, can grind out another stalemate at Highbury then a trip to Wembley will await Stuart McCall’s men on May 20.

Vincelot, however, believes adopting a ‘protect what we have’ approach would be dangerous against a Fleetwood Town side who are likely to be much more adventurous than was the case in Thursday’s first leg.

“We have to be humble and know there will be a reaction from Fleetwood,” said Bradford’s 31-year-old captain.

“Our job is to produce the same display. We have to keep our focus for the full 90 minutes.

“The players know we have to treat this like a 0-0 situation. We can’t go crazy, we have to play like we started on Thursday night. We want to put pressure on them, but we won’t go crazy, one way or the other by being either kamikaze in attack or by sitting back and defending a one-goal lead for 90 minutes.

“It is all about us and how we want to play. If we can dictate or not, there are plenty of things to adapt to during games. The gaffer will have our tactics and he won’t want to order us to defend.”

Vincelot was a free transfer signing from Coventry City last summer so was not part of last year’s semi-final exit over two legs to Millwall.

Nevertheless, he admits making up for that disappointment will be a big motivation for many in tomorrow’s return.

“The players who missed out last year will be wanting to do better,” he added.

“The goal from Rory in the first leg was a good example of that. Everyone is ready for this and we are ready to go again.

“The game was hard, but I thought we did well, playing with a high intensity and causing them problems. We are halfway there, but it will be a tight game on Sunday.

“This club is moving up. The last five years have seen the club go in the right direction, all the cup games and winning promotion from League Two shows that.

“It is no coincidence Bradford City are in the play-offs two years in a row. That shows something is building. Look at the fans; this is a club that belongs to a higher level.”