LUKE OLIVER says he and his Bradford City team-mates are desperate to deliver some payback for the visiting Bantams’ hordes at Accrington.
A bumper away contingent of 2,200 endured a miserable day at Rotherham’s New York Stadium last weekend but that 4-0 derby defeat will not stop another big travelling support making the hop across the Pennines to East Lancashire when City fans will probably make up half the crowd.
Aside from a thrilling 3-2 comeback win in October, 2008, the Crown Ground harbours mainly bad memories for the claret and amber, with the most painful arriving in April 2011 when an infamous 3-0 defeat left many fans contemplating the spectre of relegation to the Conference.
City have lost on their last three trips to Accrington and won just once in their last eight outings against Stanley, and Oliver, who has played in the club’s last two defeats there, admits a win at today’s venue would be the perfect way of getting back onside with the fans.
He said: “We had something like 2,200 people at Rotherham and that’s Championship level support, if not higher.
“All the boys appreciate it and it made for a brilliant atmosphere beforehand at Rotherham.
“It’s just a shame we couldn’t back it up with a performance.
“But we know full well the fans will be there again on Saturday as they stick with the club and it would be nice to put things right for the fans as well as ourselves.”
On City’s poor streak at Accrington and especially that loss in the Spring of 2011, Oliver added: “When you get games like that, you have to move on as quickly as you can. If you dwell on it, it can affect you for the next game.
“It was a case of trying to get it out of your mind, but that one did hurt. I remember they started the game on fire and we just didn’t get into the game and it was one of those things.
“Accrington on Saturday is another hard test because they are flying and if we get a win there, we can come back smiling.
“It’s about reacting from the Rotherham game and correcting it. Rotherham was a reality check and the gaffer wants a reaction.
“It’s all about pride for us. No one likes to lose, especially heavily.”
Today, the Bantams have a worry regarding striker Nahki Wells, who has a hip injury.
Last six games: Accrington LWLWWL, Bradford LWWWLD.
Last time: Accrington 1 Bradford 0; August 16, 2011; League Two.
Skybet odds: Accrington to win 15-8, draw 23-10, Bradford to win 7-5.
Referee: T Kettle (Berkshire).