Bradford City v Oldham Athletic – Sean Scannell the key to Bantams’ season

BRADFORD CITY manager Gary Bowyer believes a fit and firing Sean Scannell can be “unbelievable” in League Two.

On the way back: Bradford City's Sean Scannell.

The Bantams return to league action this afternoon after a chastening midweek exit from the Carabao Cup.

City were distinctly second-best in losing 4-0 at home to a Preston North End side featuring 11 changes from their last game, a home victory over Wigan Athletic.

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Scannell was one of those who did make an impact on his first start of the season after being on the bench in the two opening league fixtures.

“Sean can be massive,” said Bowyer about the wideman, who played 73 minutes against North End before being substituted.

“I have said that all along. Including last season. A fit, fully fit Sean Scannell should be unbelievable in this league.

“I said that in League One as well. Our job is to look after him and try to help him as much as we can. We need to push him as hard as we can at the right times – especially in light of what happened last season.

“He has to be managed right. He has to hit the demands we put upon him.”

Whether Scannell gets the nod against Oldham remains to be seen. His lengthy absence last season through injury means the former Huddersfield Town wideman has to be carefully managed.

But, if selected in the XI, Scannell is unlikely to be joined by too many of the side that lined up against Preston.

After the club started their first campaign in the basement division for seven years with back-to-back 1-1 draws against Cambridge United and Grismby Town, City chief Bowyer had been hoping those drafted in for the Cup might give him a selection headache for the Oldham match.

But the 48-year-old added: “I challenged ours to put a marker down for the weekend but, unfortunately, some did not do that. The standard of the goals was not very good at all. Poor, in fact. The players were told afterwards it was not acceptable.

“It disappointed me. I have to take into consideration the standard we were up against but I wanted one or two to show a lot more than they did.

“There were plusses, though, with Paudie (O’Connor) playing his first 90 minutes and a few others getting minutes on the pitch.”