after what has been a difficult first year as Bradford City manager, Peter Taylor is hoping last week’s morale-boosting win over one of the promotion-chasing pack can prove a turning point in the season.
The Bantams ended a six-game run that had yielded just one point by beating Wycombe Wanderers at Valley Parade courtesy of a goal by debutant Kevin Ellison.
With Taylor’s first anniversary in charge of City having been yesterday, it was a timely lift for a group of players who had slipped perilously close to being dragged into the fight against relegation.
Tonight, the challenge is to build on that win in front of the live Sky cameras as Bradford travel to Port Vale.
Taylor said: “There have been a few more smiles around the place this week and the boys will have taken a lot of confidence from how we won the Wycombe game.
“I thought our quality and tempo in the second half was very good and we must take that into the Port Vale game.”
The City manager was impressed with the performance of Tom Adeyemi against the Chairboys after the loanee from Norwich City came off the bench at half-time, suggesting the teenager may start tonight.
Michael Flynn, Simon Ramsden, Lewis Hunt and Scott Dobie should also retain their place in the starting XI along with Ellison after the experienced quintet came through the game unscathed.
Taylor added: “The line-up against Wycombe was the most experienced I have been able to put out for some time and I think everyone could see the difference it made.
“Being without Michael Flynn, Simon Ramsden and Lewis Hunt for the majority of the season has been a big blow. I also felt Scott and Kevin did well on their debuts.
“I was delighted for Kevin that he got the goal and I think you could see from his celebration just how much it meant. He is a loud voice in the dressing room, which is again something we have been missing due to so many of our more experienced players being out.
“The loan players who have come in across the season have shown tremendous attitude but the majority of them had not played in the Football League before. So, to come in and play in a pressurised situation for a team that has been struggling was hard for them.”
City, who were beaten 2-0 by Vale in September when Micky Adams was manager, will be without top scorers David Syers and James Hanson through injury.
Last six games: Port Vale LDLWDD, Bradford City LLLDLW.
Referee: G Ward (Surrey).
Last time: Port Vale 2 Bradford City 1; March 9, 2010; League Two.