Bradford City team spirit key to any successful relegation battle

LET'S STICK TOGETHER: Bradford City goalkeeper Richard O'Donnell (far left) in Tuesday night's Checkatrade Trophy game at 'Barnsley.  Picture: Bruce Rollinson.
LET'S STICK TOGETHER: Bradford City goalkeeper Richard O'Donnell (far left) in Tuesday night's Checkatrade Trophy game at 'Barnsley. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.
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CLOSING ranks and adopting a siege mentality are prerequisites in any triumphant fight against relegation.

Bradford City may be at the beginning of what they hope will be a successful journey away from the bottom four of League One, but goalkeeper Richard O’Donnell believes that battle lines have been drawn and evidence of fight already shown.

The Bantams’ weekend spirit amid awful conditions at Aldershot was a step in the right direction, albeit in the FA Cup, with a game midweek Checkatrade Trophy performance at Barnsley allied to a narrow league loss at leaders Portsmouth also showing that David Hopkin’s side possess the willingness to battle and scrap.

Plenty remains to do, but it represents a starting point, according to O’Donnell.

He said: “Everyone knows the situation and position we are in and we all know we have got to fight to get out of it.

“That is the positive thing; we all know that and no-one is deluded enough to think it is just going to change like that. We know we have got to put in the hard stuff and performances like Barnsley give us that confidence.

Everyone is in it together and fighting together. There is only us in the dressing room, the manager and the staff who are on the training ground every day who can turn this around.

Bradford City’s Richard O’Donnell

“Generally, we have been a bit nastier defensively and stopped the chances coming and coming. I feel like I have had less to do in the last three games, especially.

“Everyone is in it together and fighting together. There is only us in the dressing room, the manager and the staff who are on the training ground every day who can turn this around.

“We want it for the fans as it is obviously very frustrating and we want to turn it around for them.

“We need everyone together. The lads are pulling together and the manager. The fans have been brilliant this season, all in all, considering what they have had to put up with at times.

“We want to give them something to cheer about and are trying our hardest to do that.”

The league itinerary affords rock-bottom City – without a win in nine games in all competitions – scant respite tomorrow when they visit third-placed Peterborough United.

But O’Donnell, for one, says that he and his team-mates plan to tackle the challenge head on.

“To be fair when you look back, we have probably played better against the better teams this season – like Sunderland and Portsmouth,” he added.

“Hopefully, we can go there and put in a performance like we know we can and create chances and minimise them to very few. We feel we can go there to try and win the game.”