Bradford City v Cambridge: Bantams seek to follow the Barnsley blueprint

ASSISTANT manager Kenny Black admits Bradford City's motivation tonight will be partly fuelled by making up for two first-round exits in the FA and League Cups.

Billy Clarke will miss tonight's EFL Trophy second-round game. (Picture: Bruce Rollinson)

The Bantams host Cambridge United as the Checkatrade Trophy finally reaches the knockout stage.

Victory tonight would take City into the last 16 and help bring in some welcome revenue after those two cup exits to League Two Accrington Stanley.

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“Coming out of the League and FA Cups was disappointing, but this gives us a chance to make a push for the latter stages of a competition,” said Black.

“It is certainly one we want to win and be successful in. We didn’t treat those ties against Accrington lightly. But we went out and that was frustrating.

“We are facing a team who come into the game on the back of an excellent result on Sunday (the U’s beat Coventry City 4-0 in the FA Cup second round) and a decent tie to look forward to against Leeds United in the new year.

“Cambridge’s form has picked up recently and they have a bit of momentum. That is what we want after two defeats from our last three games.”

Revenue from attendances is usually low in the Trophy until the latter stages, but victory tonight would earn City £20,000 in prize money. In subsequent rounds, sums of £40,000 and £50,000 will be up for grabs.

“In this day and age, finances are important and we are well aware of that,” added Black. “The revenue we lost by coming out of the two cups very early was a blow, but this is a chance to try and earn some money.

“Plus, I look at what happened to Barnsley last year. They had a difficult start, but then, all of a sudden, they got to Wembley, won the competition and then went on to win promotion.”

Billy Clarke (calf) is out, but Black insists the starting XI will be very much a senior one after several youngsters were given their debuts in the group stages.

Ahead of a tie in the supposedly regional draw that pits two clubs that are 157 miles apart, the Bantams assistant manager added: “We have also had to stew on the Swindon result for the last 10 days or so.

“This gives us an opportunity to get back on track before returning to the league this Saturday (at home to Charlton).”

Last six games: Bradford City LLWLWL Cambridge United WLLWWW.

Referee: R Lewis (Shropshire).

Last time: Bradford City 1 Cambridge United 1; February 25, 1995; Division Two.