bradford City’s early exit from the League Cup has provided a benefit as the Valley Parade club look to get players back from injury.
The Bantams were knocked out by Accrington Stanley a fortnight ago, and while manager Stuart McCall was disappointed, he also appreciates the rest period it has given his side ahead of tomorrow’s game with Oldham.
He said: “It’s good that the lads have been able to recharge the batteries. Although we hated it at the time, going out of the cup might be a benefit in the long run.
“We’ve picked up a lot of injuries with players who, at another time, we might have pulled out if we had a bigger squad.
“We’ve had that break and the rest has been good for the players as we haven’t over trained them.”
After scoring two penalties in the comeback win against Coventry, McCall confirmed that Tony McMahon suffered a thigh strain that will keep him out for two to three weeks.
However, several key defenders are nearing a return having not kicked a ball so for this season.
McCall added: “(Matt) Kilgallon is back in the fold so he’ll be pushing for Saturday. (Stephen) Darby and (Rory) McArdle joined in with training (yesterday), but the weekend is too early for them to be considered.
“Nathan Clarke is still not there yet, but James Meredith is touch and go. It’s a lot more positive and hopefully we can come through Saturday with no injuries.”
Captain Darby has been a long-term absentee, and with stand-in McMahon unavailable, McCall will need another on-field leader tomorrow.
“It’s no big deal,” he added. “I want 11 leaders out there. We need another one so maybe we’ll draw straws and see who leads the team out on Saturday.”