Colchester v Bradford City - Bantams must get back to basics

BACK to basics is a call that has been not issued by many connected with Bradford City in recent times, certainly not this year.

Sometimes, needs must and after a veritable feast of wins under the command of their young managerial team of Mark Trueman and Conor Sellars up until early March to transform a relegation battle into a potential play-off tilt, the Bantams have endured a mini-famine ever since.

City make the long trip to Colchester on the back of a five-match winless run. A return of five successive victories and sequence of one defeat in 14 matches had preceded that.

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Seven clean sheets arrived in that profitable time and Anthony O’Connor admits that he and his team-mates need to strip things back and get back to doing all those not necessarily pretty things that made City so hard to beat and breakdown.

Needing to return to winning ways: Mark Trueman and Connor Sellars. Picture: Bruce Rollinson

It was a point raised in some internal discussions between players this week.

The defender, part of a line-up seeking to make amends after a disappointing midweek loss at Scunthorpe, said: “We have been in worse positions before and managed to get out of it and, hopefully, we can do the same.

“We have had a little sit-down as players and discussed the rest of the season and we have all said we don’t want it to peter out after coming all this way.

“It has turned for us before and, hopefully, it can turn again and we can go on another run and it is just getting that win under our belts and build confidence again.

“We have got to get back to basics and being hard to beat and trying to build confidence levels. That is not to say the lads are not confident.

“But when you lose a few games, it is important to stop that rut as quickly as you can.”

For inspiration, O’Connor cited a gutsy point on a similarly long trip south to Crawley in Trueman and Sellars’s first match in charge in mid-December as being a template to follow.

O’Connor continued: “When the two managers took over for the first time, we went to Crawley on a Tuesday night on the back of a terrible run and we got a draw and then it just took off and we went on an unbelievable run and managed to put ourselves in a decent position.

“We know we can do that again. I am not saying we will go on a 10 or 11-game unbeaten run, but some consistent results can put us in a good position again.”

Last six games: Colchester LLDDLD; Bradford City WDLLDL.

Referee: G Salisbury (Lancs).

Last time: Colchester 0 Bradford 0, January 21, 2020; League Two.

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