Scunthorpe United v Bradford City – Gary Bowyer won’t be taking struggling Iron lightly

Bradford's manager Gary Bowyer.
Bradford's manager Gary Bowyer.
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Bradford City will not make the mistake of under-estimating their opponents when they travel to struggling Scunthorpe United this afternoon.

Both teams were relegated from English football’s third tier last term, but their fortunes have differed somewhat during the early weeks of 2019/20.

The Bantams have won three of their last four League Two outings and sit sixth in the table, while by contrast, their hosts find themselves second-from bottom, tasting victory just once in 10 attempts.

“I think everybody is surprised by where they are currently. And I say ‘currently’, because they’ve got a very good manager who knows this league and has been successful throughout his time,” City chief Gary Bowyer said.

“He [Paul Hurst] didn’t get enough time, in my opinion, at Ipswich, but he’s gone in at Scunthorpe, he’s got a rebuilding job to do there and he’s set about that.

“He’s had to bring in quite a few players and you’ve got to give them bedding in time, which is still happening.

“Having watched their games, they are a good team and they’ve got some good players. They’ve got threats in certain areas that we have to be aware of.

“We know on Saturday that we’ll be in for a real tough game.”

Bowyer himself has brought in a host of new faces over the summer, yet the signs are that his much-changed side is now starting to gel.

They produced their most complete attacking display of the season against Carlisle last time out, and the Bantams chief is satisfied with how things are progressing.

“We’re getting there, we’re working towards it, for sure. It’s a bedding-in process, it takes time building relationships,” Bowyer added.

“Kelvin [Mellor] is building his relationship [down the right] with Dylan [Connolly], Connor Wood and Harry [Pritchard – down the left] and obviously those two wide men are building a relationship with the strikers.

“We are getting there. We’ve just got to make sure we continue to do that.”

City will be without centre-half Ben Richards-Everton for their clash with the Iron as he serves a three-game suspension.

Anthony O’Connor, Kelvin Mellor or Tyler French could take his place and line up alongside Paudie O’Connor at the heart of Bowyer’s back-four.