Bradford City v Notts County: Brad Halliday more interested in faults than fanfares

Brad Halliday has deservedly had plenty of praise for his Bradford City performances this season, but says he is more interested in focusing on the things he can do better.

The Bantams are due to host Notts County on Saturday, 10 days after missing out on a Wembley cup final.

They had hoped to take their frustration from Wycombe Wanderers' smash-and-grab Football League Trophy semi-final win out on Barrow last week, only for a waterlogged pitch to intervene.

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But there is more to it than that, a five-point gap to the League Two play-offs plus that game in hand making a promotion push more likely than their 16th place suggests.

Getting there will need some big performances from former Doncaster Rovers right-back Halliday but the Middlesbrough academy product has shown he can be relied upon.

"When you do get compliments after the game it's always nice to hear but from a personal perspective I can definitely look through the season and there's plenty of performances I can improve on,” he says.

“That's probably the main part I want to focus on and get better as a person and as a player.

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SELF-CRITICAL: Bradford City defender Brad Halliday says he is always looking for areas to improveSELF-CRITICAL: Bradford City defender Brad Halliday says he is always looking for areas to improve
SELF-CRITICAL: Bradford City defender Brad Halliday says he is always looking for areas to improve

"From now until the end of the season it's just about being fully committed to getting three points."

Not settling is a key part of his mindset.

"I've learnt a lot this season," he reflects. "I'm 28, I'm quite experienced, I've played quite a lot of games but you can always improve.

"I look at some of the senior players in the dressing room, Darbs (Matt Derbyshire), Kev (McDonald) and Richie (Smallwood) – they've had great careers at the top level and they've played a lot of games but they're still learning."

The Wycombe defeat and Barrow postponement disrupted a good rhythm the Bantams had found, the former ending a five-match unbeaten run if not the good performances. The Magpies, by contrast, have lost five of their last six games to drop out of the play-off places.

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Bradford's positivity can be traced back to manager Graham Alexander's second game in charge, November's reverse fixture – or rather its half-time break.

An in-form County raced into a 4-0 lead before the interval but Bradford pulled it back to 4-2 thanks to a change of formation to wing-backs and an excellent individual performance from Halliday. It set the blueprint for what was to follow, even if results wobbled after Christmas.

"When the manager first came in he made things very simple and I think the performances have always been there," argues Halliday.

"When he first came in we had a good run then picked up a couple of injuries and it gave us a bit of a setback. We had a few mixed results, a few not so good performances but the good performances were always in there.

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"The last few games I think we've shown we can pull together as one and push in the same direction.

"There's still areas I can improve and areas I'm good at. It's about keeping the strengths there and getting better at the rest. Hopefully it will benefit myself and the team."

Andy Cook returns from his cup suspension but Smallwood is banned and Matty Platt injured.

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