Bolton v Bradford City - ‘No excuse’ culture for Stuart McCall

Manager Stuart McCall says there are “no excuses” as Bradford City finally get back to competitive football after six months away.

Bradford City manager Stuart McCall (Picture: Tony Johnson)

City will be playing their first competitive match since March 7, and Bolton Wanderers’ relegation last season means it will be against a fellow League Two side.

So although the game is in the first round of the League Cup, often a time when players are rested, McCall will treat it like a league game.

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And with no injuries and a clean bill of health from the latest round of coronavirus tests, he has a full squad to choose from with the exception of the suspended Levi Sutton.

“We’re as ready as we can be,” said McCall. “We’ve got 22 players all fit and available and ready for selection.

“I don’t want to tempt fate but we’ve had a couple of minor knocks and nothing more than that.

“We’re going all out for a victory. It’s against one of our rivals from the same division.

“We will treat it as if it’s the first league game. It’s a very important game to us and we desperately want to progress.

“We’ll take five to six games before we are fully up to speed with everyone.

“There will still be a lot of things to improve on but there are no excuses. We’re going there to be very competitive.”

McCall is still looking to add to his squad but with the transfer window open until mid-October, nothing is imminent.

“We can’t press Premier League teams for answers here and now,” he said. “We’re waiting for a phone call and might be able to get somebody in.

“If it doesn’t happen or he goes another place then we’ll move on.

“But we’re also mindful we’re giving the lads here a chance to show what they can do and we’ve been really impressed with how they’ve gone about their jobs,” he added.

“Give it those six weeks before the window closes and I’m confident we’ll have brought another couple of players.”

Bolton include last season’s League Two player of the season Eoin Doyle, who had two short spells at Valley Parade during it, but scored all his goals on loan at champions Swindon Town.