Bradford City v Rochdale: Reinforcements made top of January agenda for Bantams

BUILDING: Bradford City manager Stuart McCall.' Picture: Bruce Rollinson
BUILDING: Bradford City manager Stuart McCall.' Picture: Bruce Rollinson
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STUART McCALL has revealed that he is keen on supplementing his Bradford City squad with three or four new faces in the January ransfer window.

December may be a frenetic time for the Bantams, who play seven times this month, alongside a New Year’s Day fixture, but McCall also has an eye on recruitment planning ahead of next month as the club seeks to consolidate and build upon another sturdy start to the season.

The next window is likely to be a busy time for countless managers, but for McCall, the fact that several of his senior players who are currently pushing for first-team places have palpably struggled to grasp opportunities on occasions, is an additional factor in his mindset.

“Myself, Greg (Abbott) and Edin (Rahic) had a big, long meeting on Wednesday to discuss things,” revealed McCall.

“I think we have five lads due to finish with the club, be it loans or contracts being up in January.

“We have also discussed the targets who we would like to bring in to make us stronger. The wheels are now in motion.

It is no good bringing in lads who are just squad players in. We have got to try and reinforce in January because we know other clubs will be doing the same.

Bradford City manager, Stuart McCall

“We want to be near the top battling it out and we have got to strengthen. It is no good bringing in lads who are just squad players in. We have got to try and reinforce in January because we know other clubs will be doing the same.

“We have got to be pro-active. We would like to strengthen in three or four positions.”

Admitting he was particularly disappointed by the displays of certain players handed starts in Tuesday’s limp Checkatrade Trophy exit to Oldham, McCall added: “We were hugely disappointed in the all-around performance from everyone, really.

“As much as the result, which knocked us out of the competition, before the game you are looking for people to make a mark and an impact and push to at least give us a headache in regard to the starting 11 and certainly the 18.”

Speaking of headaches, McCall certainly has a few to contend with ahead of today’s game with Keith Hill’s Rochale.

Several players are struggling with illness, with the state of the Valley Parade pitch also likely to be a levelling factor, with the surface, by common consent, not in the best current condition due to the recent cold snap.

With several potential mitigating factors, McCall is urging his side to ‘find a way’ this afternoon, whatever it takes.

He added: “It will certainly be about finding a way to win.

“We look back to last season, towards the back end in the last couple of months, we certainly had to change the style we played a little and we won the last six tight games at home.

“They were not great entertainment, but the fans still went home happy because they were victories. That is what we have got to find on Saturday.

“It might not be a case of getting out from the back and passing it through the middle of the park in little areas.

“It might have to be getting the ball into the box and putting pressure on them because at the minute, the pitch is not conducive to a lot of passing.”