Bradford City v Newport County: Bobby Pointon learning 'dark arts' along with new position to revitalise Bantams

GETTING STUCK IN: Bradford City's Bobby PointonGETTING STUCK IN: Bradford City's Bobby Pointon
GETTING STUCK IN: Bradford City's Bobby Pointon
BOBBY POINTON has been a driving force behind Bradford City's League Two play-off push after learning a new position – and the "dark arts" which go with it.

If you want a simple answer as to why the Bantams have gone from seemingly blowing their play-off chances in March to being in with a shout on Saturday's final day at home to Newport County, Pointon is part of it.

Having not started any of the previous 14 games, the 20-year-old has kicked off each of the six unbeaten matches – five won – which have given his hometown club a top-seven shot.

He has done it as an inside-forward in a 3-4-2-1 formation.

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"I was using other players more, established players and they played their part but certainly after that four-game (losing) run (in March) I had to open the door to people who hadn't had opportunities,” says manager Graham Alexander. "Bobby's been the main success story from that.

"We always knew his energy and enthusiasm, his ability on the ball, it was just that he was a young player who didn't have loads of experience.

"I didn't know him as much as the other guys.

"He's played in a position that's not probably his natural position. I wouldn't have thought he'd have described himself as an attacking eight from midfield but he's really taken on the tactical side of it, he gives us the energy and the attacking threat we need from there."

The forward is enjoying his role and although he scored at Barrow on Tuesday, his second strike of this unbeaten run, he is relishing the less glamorous side too.

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"I like this position the gaffer's put me in and I'm doing well in it," he says. "He gives me the freedom to stay out and receive the ball.

"I think I'm doing well out of possession too, battling away. You've got to in that position.

"That side of the game's come with experience, and the dark arts they call it – the little nudges and pulls and I think I'm getting a lot better at stuff like that. It helps a lot because you win a lot more 50-50s and individual battles.

"The other lads have been teaching me by doing it to me! I had Matty Lund against Salford doing it all the time. It's a good thing for me because I'm learning.

"I saw what worked and I can add it to my game."

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Bradford need three results to go their way to sneak into the play-offs on the final day – a win for them, a defeat for Barrow at home to already-promoted Mansfield Town, and Crawley Town failing to win at home to Grimsby Town.

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