Bradford City v Swindon Town: Caretaker Kevin McDonald admits his surprise at call, but has no plans to rush into management

Kevin McDonald admits he was surprised to get the call to lead Bradford City into Saturday's game at home to Swindon Town, and has no plans to wind up his playing career early so he can move into full-time management.

The former Sheffield United, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Fulham midfielder was signed in the summer to bring experience to the Bantams' midfield and that may be part of his job at the weekend – he had not decided when he spoke to the media – but the main focus will be what he can bring as a caretaker manager.

Because 34-year-old McDonald has been chosen for the job over Mark Trueman, a former co-manager of the club, who will assist him.

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“It was an unexpected call, that’s for sure, but perhaps they looked at me and the way I am as a person and the way I conduct myself as a player," said the Scot. “I was a bit surprised to say the least at first. But if I can help the team and the club then it’s no problem with me.

CARETAKER: Bradford City's Kevin McDonaldCARETAKER: Bradford City's Kevin McDonald
CARETAKER: Bradford City's Kevin McDonald

“There were certain elements that did make me think a bit. But it’s an honour and a huge respect to even be given that call in the first place.

“I’m happy to fill in until there’s a new manager appointed. It’s not about me or a new manager, it’s about what we do on Saturday and getting a result.”

Bradford announced as soon as Mark Hughes was dismissed on Wednesday that the search for a successor had begun but they are not believed to on the verge of finding him yet, despite rumours about a return for former midfielder Neil Redfearn, and reported interest in ex-Huddersfield Town manager Danny Cowley.

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McDonald wants to be a manager in time, but not at the expense of the final years of his playing career.

“I have signed here as a player and that is what I intend to be," he insisted. "I will go in to management but first and foremost I came as a player and want to make the most of my career. But it was an honour to even get that call.”

Now he needs his squad to focus on lifting Bradford out of the form that cost Hughes his job.

“As professionals, you have to do a job, and you get paid to perform," he said. "The mood is okay.

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“We have to move forward, and that starts on Saturday. The players are buying in to what we want to do.

“It has been very hectic, but we have just been preparing for Swindon and focusing on the football.

“We have had a look at Swindon and what can we do to hurt them, and it is up to us to show what we can do."