Bradford freshened by dealings, says Rhodes

Hull City's Aaron Mclean
Hull City's Aaron Mclean
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JOINT chairman Julian Rhodes believes Bradford City can be satisfied with their work in the January transfer window in both a football and financial sense.

The Bantams were one of the busier clubs this past month with Luke Oliver yesterday becoming the club’s third departure in two days when he joined Forest Green Rovers in the Skrill Premier.

Ricky Ravenhill and Alan Connell had left Valley Parade the previous day, bringing Phil Parkinson’s squad back down to a manageable size following an influx of loan players and Hull City striker Aaron Mclean, who signed a two-and-a-half year deal, earlier in the window.

The capture of Mclean along with loanees Kyle Bennett, Adam Reach and Chris Atkinson was made possible by the sale of top scorer Nahki Wells to Huddersfield Town for an initial £1.2m.

Due to his contract having just 18 months to go at the start of 2014, Wells was always likely to leave during the window and Rhodes believes City can be pleased with the re-modelling work that has taken place.

Bradford’s joint-chairman said: “Phil (Parkinson) had to freshen things up and he has done that this month. Aaron Mclean has come in to replace Nahki, while Phil has also made some clever loan signings.

“It has helped bring a fresh feel to the squad. Let’s face it, the momentum from winning promotion had died.

“It had ground to a halt so something had to be done. By Nahki leaving, we were able to change things and the challenge now is to push on.

“From a financial point of view, too, Nahki leaving helped. As has getting a couple of the decent earners off the wage bill.

“So, from that perspective, we have to be content with how things have gone in January.”

Following the midweek goalless draw at home to Preston North End, City have won just once in 17 games but still sit in the top half of League One.

Rhodes added: “We have had a couple of injuries to key players and that didn’t help.

“But we have lost the knack of winning, of late. We need to get that back and I think the signings will help us do that.

“The positive thing is we have become hard to beat again. Now, we need to go that extra yard to turn draws – and we have had three in a row now – into wins.

“Phil has brought in some attacking players and we are looking forward to seeing them settle into the team.”

City’s poor run of form coincided with Andrew Davies being ruled out with a knee injury.

The former Middlesbrough defender returned against Preston, however, and Rhodes believes the difference was apparent.

He said: “We kept one clean sheet in something like 17 games when Andrew Davies was out. Then, in his first game back on Tuesday, we kept a clean sheet against Preston.

“I don’t think that is a coincidence. In fact, it speaks volumes. Andrew’s return from injury on Tuesday night was a big plus for us all.”