Bradford City v Scunthorpe United: Bantams keen to seize chance to end poor home run
MARK HUGHES may have only been Bradford City’s manager for the past 55 days, but he would be forgiven for already being sick and tired at having to address repeated questions about the thorny issue of home form.
It has been a problem for a number of his predecessors throughout City’s penance in the lower divisions, in truth.
The Bantams chief acknowledges that he and his side will not get a better chance to claim their first win on home soil during his watch this afternoon against a relegated Scunthorpe side who have little to play for and who have won just once in 21 away league matches so far this term.
City trained at the Utilita Energy Stadium on Friday and while his side’s work and application reached a ‘good high level’, according to Hughes, it is all about doing it on a match-day.
More especially as the Bantams head into this game on the back of an awful loss at Colchester United five days ago.
Hughes, seeking his maiden home win at the sixth time of asking, said: “I don’t anticipate there being any (negative) reaction from Monday at all.
“My expectation is that we start as we finished last time out here,” he said.
“We were excellent and got cheered off the pitch.
“It was probably the opposite on Monday. But in football, you get an opportunity most of the time very quickly to do something about a poor performance.”
Given the opponents they are facing, allied to the fact that City were desperately close to securing a cherished home victory last time out against Tranmere – having performed well against another of League Two’s better sides in Newport in their previous games at BD8 – finally clinching that elusive win in front of their own supporters seems to be the next natural development.
But, as Hughes accepts, there is pressure all the time. At a club like Bradford, there should be.
He added: “We keep talking about how we are close, but we need to do something about it and actually get it over the line and that is what we will endeavour to do.
“We are home and up against a team who have had a difficult season. They have not got much to play for and we have got more because it is about making sure that we get a positive result backed with an impressive performance.
“If we get all those factors right, then I would expect to win the game. But sometimes, that is not always the case; you can do everything right in football and sometimes, it flies off someone’s backside and you lose the game 1-0.
“I don’t anticipate that happening if we can do our jobs right and correctly.”
Hughes is also conscious of providing a bit of payback to those supporters who were seriously short-changed on a nightmare Easter Monday in Essex.
He continued: “We slipped up badly against Colchester last time out. It was not acceptable and it won’t happen again.
“We don’t want that experience again as we did not give our travelling support, which is always great, anything to get behind and we need to make amends for that.”