BRADFORD CITY captain Romain Vincelot believes the race for the League One play-offs is much more open than last season.
The Bantams head to the south coast today looking to put right a poor run that has seen manager Stuart McCall’s men take just a point from their last three outings in the third tier.
Despite that disappointing return, City remain in third place, but are just four points clear of Scunthorpe United in eighth place.
“It is hard to say,” said Vincelot when asked by The Yorkshire Post to compare this season’s League One to 2016-17.
“But what I would say is there are more teams able to be in the top six this season.”
City spent all but the opening ten days of last term occupying a place in the top six.
It was a similar story for all those who finished in the play-offs, with even eventual winners Millwall – who sneaked in on the last day thanks to a dramatic late win at Bristol Rovers – spending the final two months in either sixth or seventh place.
That showed how settled the promotion picture was for much of 2016-17.
But Vincelot does not anticipate it being similar this time around.
“You can say that two or three are really going to thrive, but then there are eight to 10 teams who maybe could be up there,” he added. “So it makes it harder that way.
“The level is very concentrated. There are good teams who were promoted or relegated last year, such as Portsmouth, who are coming back and others like Charlton; decent-sized clubs who will be challenging.”
Bradford were beaten by Bury in their last away outing, but, otherwise, McCall’s men have fared well on the road with only leaders Shrewsbury bettering their 14-point haul.
“There is nothing we do different and no special plan if we are playing away,” added Vincelot when asked to explain such a decent record. “But we do have speed in the team and that helps.”