Bradford are playing like a team in relegation zone – Kilgallon

Matthew Kilgallon believes the Bradford City players are letting down manager Stuart McCall with their poor displays (Picture: Bruce Rollinson).
Matthew Kilgallon believes the Bradford City players are letting down manager Stuart McCall with their poor displays (Picture: Bruce Rollinson).
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BRADFORD CITY defender Matthew Kilgallon believes the club’s players are letting down manager Stuart McCall.

The Bantams are enduring their worst run for seven years having lost their last four games.

Performances have been as poor as results, with Tuesday night’s derby loss at Rotherham United having few, if any, redeeming features for the League One promotion hopefuls.

McCall’s response was to cancel the squad’s day off on Wednesday in an attempt to kick-start the club’s season.

“We are playing like a team in the relegation zone,” admitted Kilgallon to The Yorkshire Post. “But we are not, we are in the top six.

“I appreciate it is a difficult time, but this club is still in a good position. We are letting ourselves down and letting the gaffer down and the fans as well.

“We are off it, not winning second balls or anything. We need to change it round quickly.

“The gaffer had us in (on Wednesday), which is usually a day off for us. He was not happy and the work started then to turn this round.

“He (McCall) has been unbelievable with us. When we lose, he has come in and brightened the place up. He is first class with all of us.

“But he is not happy. We all saw that on Tuesday night. It is gutting because he doesn’t deserve a performance like that.

“We have to turn this round. We have the players to do it, but now we have to make things happen.”

City’s on-pitch troubles have come at a time when disillusionment has grown in the stands over a lack of reinforcements to a squad that has been noticeably weakened over the past six months, either by high-profile departures or injury.

Five of the starting XI in last season’s play-off final left in the summer, with Tony McMahon also possibly set for the exit door before next Wednesday’s deadline amid interest from Scunthorpe United.

Injuries have also wreaked havoc, Tyrell Robinson the latest to be ruled out for several weeks with the hamstring injury that forced the teenager out of the defeat at the New York Stadium.

Progress, however, is being belatedly made in the transfer market with German striker Kai Bunker having joined last night from fourth-tier outfit Freiburg II and Australian international Ryan McGowan expected to follow suit by joining from UAE side Al-Sharjah before the weekend.

Chesterfield’s Kristian Dennis remains a target despite the League Two outfit turning down a bid for him earlier this week.

Kilgallon admits any new faces will be welcome after such a tough run. However, the vastly experienced defender is also at pains to stress that the City players must avoid pointing to the lack of transfer activity in the first three or so weeks of January as the reason for the recent run.

“What we can’t do is use anything about transfers as an excuse,” admitted the 34-year-old. “That performance against Rotherham cannot be put down to anything but us, the players.

“We might have had a few playing out of position, but that is no excuse. This is a good team.

“We could use the old excuse, ‘Well, we haven’t brought anyone in’. But that would be hiding. Sure, a few fresh faces can brighten things up. It can bring competition for places.

“But that performance was not down to who we have or have not signed. No excuses.

“There were some good players out (on the pitch at Rotherham), but the performance just wasn’t good enough.

“Our squad is struggling with subs and injuries. But we have to stick together and crack on for Saturday.

“Everything can change from a quick 20 minutes at Valley Parade (against Wimbledon). We must start well, get in front and then this can all be put behind us. It isn’t good enough and we all know that.”