Bradford City v Barrow: Bantams must not pass up opportunity admits Mark Hughes

IT is not just the Championship which is fascinating in terms of the plethora of teams bunched together in a compelling play-off race.

League Two is every bit as tight and absorbing and the fact that the final automatic promotion spot looks open for someone if they make a late charge, given Carlisle United's vulnerabilities so far in February, adds to the intrigue.

Bradford City's second successive victory, against Tranmere Rovers on Tuesday evening, was not enough to move them up into the play-off positions. They remain eighth heading into this weekend's action.

But there is a sizeable caveat, nevertheless.

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Mark Hughes. Picture: Bruce RollinsonMark Hughes. Picture: Bruce Rollinson
Mark Hughes. Picture: Bruce Rollinson

They are just four points adrift of third-placed Carlisle United, with two games in hand on the Brunton Park outfit, who visit BD8 in March.

Cumbrian opposition of a different variety are occupying City's focus today in terms of Barrow, with Jake Young ineligible under the terms of his loan.

The Bluebirds lost 1-0 in midweek at Doncaster Rovers, who are one of a number of sides still in with vested interest in the play-offs heading into the run-in.

Just eight points separate Sutton United, in tenth, with Carlisle, in third.

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Bantams chief Mark Hughes, whose side visit Doncaster for a key Yorkshire derby in seven days' time, said: "It is concertinaed isn't it. It's surprising we are still in the same position.

"But looking at our table with points accrued, we still have games in hand over plenty of the ones ahead of us and we have just got to make sure we win those games in hand and then we will be in a really significant position in the league and be in good shape."

Barrow, managed by ex-Halifax manager Pete Wild, have won just once in their last 13 matches and they have not won in Bradford since February 1965.

Hughes, whose side's last home success on a Saturday was on September 17, continued: "We cannot afford to pass up these opportunities to get points on the board.

"It's a home game we should be winning and that's our intention. We absolutely had the right mentality (on Tuesday) and we will have to have more of the same at the weekend."