Bradford City sack legend Stuart McCall with Bantams still in top six

Gone: Banthams manager Stuart McCall after defeat at Oldham.  Picture: Tony Johnson
Gone: Banthams manager Stuart McCall after defeat at Oldham. Picture: Tony Johnson
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Bradford City have sacked manager Stuart McCall following a run of six successive defeats.

The former Scottish international, appointed for a second time as manager in the summer of 2016, was dismissed in the wake of Saturday’s defeat at Oldham Athletic.

It was the sixth straight loss suffered by the Bantams, who nevertheless remain in a play-off spot.

Tensions between McCall and the board have been evident for some time but today’s news has still come as a shock considering City’s league position.

In a statement from the club, City revealed the decision “had not been taken lightly”.

It went on to read: “Unfortunately, we have not suffered six straight defeats and the last two, in particular, have not brought about the positive change in performances or results that we had hoped for.

“We believe our current squad is capable of performing to a much higher standard than we have seen recently.”

McCall took charge of 77 league games in his second spell at the helm, winning 35 and losing just 20.

Bradford, beaten 1-0 by Millwall in the play-off final last May, spent all but 21 days of his time back at Valley Parade occupying a place in the top six of League One.

Speaking after the defeat at Oldham, McCall said: “If I was going to walk away, I would have done that in the first two weeks when I got here.

“I am not going to walk away now, that is for sure. I still believe there is enough in the dressing room. When I left before (in 2010), it was the right time to go. There was no doubt about that.

“But watching and listening to them in that dressing room, I do no think they are a beaten team. If anyone had seen how they were afterwards, that was a sign they are battling for themselves, for the fans and for their families.

“It would be wrong to say the lads have not given everything. I am sure they are hurting as much as we all are.”

The 53-year-old was in his second spell at Valley Parade and guided the club to last season’s League One play-off final, losing 1-0 to Millwall at Wembley.

A club statement continued: “Finally, everyone at Bradford City would like to thank Stuart McCall for giving us all some wonderful memories. In two spells as a player and two as a manager he has always given his absolute commitment to our club.

“Stuart is a City legend and always will be. He will, of course, always be welcome back at Valley Parade.”

Bradford play bottom club Bury at Valley Parade on Saturday.