I’m planning as if I’m going to be at Bradford City next season, says Simon Grayson

Simon Grayson was offered a long-term deal when he joined Bradford City but took a more careful approach (Picture: Bruce Rollinson).
Simon Grayson was offered a long-term deal when he joined Bradford City but took a more careful approach (Picture: Bruce Rollinson).
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BRADFORD CITY manager Simon Grayson is talking to agents about possible summer sigings despite his contract only running until the end of this season.

The 48-year-old is still waiting for his first win since taking charge on February 11.

His fifth attempt to break that duck comes tomorrow at home to Gillingham in a fixture Bradford must surely win to retain any hopes of gatecrashing the play-offs.

City, whose last 10 league outings have yielded just two points, wanted Grayson to sign a long-term deal when succeeding Stuart McCall, but he insisted on a more cautionary approach, hence the initial deal until the end of the season.

That remains his stance, though the Bantams’ chief admits to having already started the planning for 2018-19.

“Edin (Rahic, joint chairman) and I have been really open about where we are,” said Grayson when asked about his future. “We are sitting down on a weekly basis and talking about pre-season games and recruitment of players. I am certainly planning as if I am going to be here. It would be foolish not to do so.

“The worst thing that I can do is not plan to be here next year and then, all of a sudden, I stay and am miles behind everyone else in terms of preparation. So I am drumming up games and talking to agents about players.

“As it stands until you get to the nitty-gritty of what budgets might be and what we are going to do then that (recruitment) won’t get finalised.

“We are not at the stage of knowing the actual figure we have got to spend. That will depend, like every football club, on how season tickets and sponsorship go.

“But we are certainly agreeing on what we need to do in terms of playing staff and the games. Ultimately Edin is just letting me get on with it.

“I report to him and discuss things with him, and he is more than happy with what we have done.

“He will agree that when you have been a manager for 12 years you have got a rough idea how seasons work and what is required. We are very open with each other and he’s been good.”

A major stumbling block in those talks with agents, of course, could be Grayson’s uncertain future. A player may be reluctant to sign, not knowing if a different manager might be in charge next term.

Asked by The Yorkshire Post about when this lack of clarity over his own plans could become a problem, Grayson replied: “I don’t think any player has agreed to go to another club already.

“You get the season out the way, do the odd signing early. But most get done towards the middle/back end of June.

“I have been speaking to loads of managers from the Premier League about what sort of players they would be willing to let out next year, frees, loans etc.

“So we are doing all that work and I know the areas we need to strengthen, that’s for sure.”

Grayson also had a word of warning for the current squad ahead of the final 10 games.

“Whether I am here or not (next season) – and I am planning to be here – if the players don’t play well then they won’t be in the team while I am still here,” said the City chief, who expects Ryan McGowan to miss the rest of the season following knee surgery.

“Ultimately that will affect what is going to happen to them in the future. Don’t think that people won’t be talking to me or my coaching staff. Football is a small world and managers talk all the time.”