Gary Bowyer hoping Bradford City can play with freedom like Wimbledon

Bradford City manager Gary Bowyer directs operations from the sidelines (Picture: Simon Hulme).
Bradford City manager Gary Bowyer directs operations from the sidelines (Picture: Simon Hulme).
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BRADFORD CITY manager Gary Bowyer believes the League One relegation scrap “will go to the last minute of the last game” before being settled.

The Bantams, whose next game is at home to Blackpool tomorrow, prop up the table on 36 points with just eight games remaining.

But City are still within touching distance of another dozen clubs thanks to the tightest fight for survival the third tier has seen in years.

Bristol Rovers are only nine points ahead of Bradford and yet can be found in the top half the table.

“Just focusing on ourselves I still can’t tell you the exact points needed (to stay up),” said Bowyer ahead of facing the club where he started the season as manager.

“But in my opinion I believe it will go to the last game. I believe it will go to the last minute of the last game, up and down the country somewhere.

“We have got to make sure we give ourselves that fighting chance to be going into the last game possibly still in it. Hopefully we could have done it before then, but I am sure it will be like that.”

Bradford slumped to the foot of the table last weekend courtesy of a controversial 1-0 defeat at Oxford United.

City replaced AFC Wimbledon, who not so long ago looked to have been cut adrift. On February 9 the Dons were nine points behind second-bottom Bradford and Bowyer believes the London club offer proof as to how quickly things can change.

“They probably found the pressure was totally off them and the freedom was there,” he said. “Look at good examples where we can actually go, ‘They have done that so why can’t we?’

“Get everybody onside and have that belief. That is all we can do.”

As for tackling Blackpool, the club he led to promotion in 2017, Bowyer added: “Being able to lead your team out at Wembley and win is a dream.

“Once you pack in playing and you go into the coaching and managing side you want to do that.

“It was fantastic and gave us a special connection that will stay with us for the rest of our lives.

“It will be good to see the players and staff, but come 3pm I will be all Bradford City.”