Stuart McCall is ‘loving every minute’ of his third coming at Bradford City

Stuart McCall.Stuart McCall.
Stuart McCall. | YPN
“A mixed bag” is Stuart McCall’s assessment of Bradford’s results since his return to Valley Parade, but the former City player insists that he is “loving every minute” of his third spell in charge.

The 55-year-old was tempted back to the club last month following predecessor Gary Bowyer’s sacking in the wake of a seven-match winless run which saw the Bantams slide out of the League Two promotion picture.

And, while not completely satisfied with a points haul of seven from his first six games in charge, McCall is relishing the challenge of trying to revive City’s play-off hopes.

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“I’m absolutely delighted that I’m back and loving every minute of it,” he said.

“I’m really enjoying the challenge. Before we came in, we knew it was a big challenge. Is it bigger than we thought? I don’t know, but every challenge has got its challenges, if you like.

“Regarding results and performances, it’s been a mixed bag.

“The away performances haven’t yielded a point, home performances have been okay. We could have had a few more points, but all-in-all, the more time I’ve seen the players, the better it has been.

“On a points level, it could have been a lot better, but we strive to do our best, and in the meantime we’re always evaluating and looking both short-term to the next game and also long-term to next season.”

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Building for next term is clearly something that McCall is already giving plenty of thought to, though with the Bantams only four points shy of the play-off places there is still all to play for between now and the end of 2019-20.

Not that the former Scotland midfielder is setting his players any targets.

“If we can put a couple of wins together, it can still be a good end to the season and we’ve got to believe that,” he added.

“I don’t want us to be setting targets of the play-offs, or so many points, I just want us to be better than we were last game and then just try to improve.

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“You always have belief that you can get the best out of what you’ve got. There’s a lot of situations, you’ve got to look at different things.

“Looking back at past games, looking at players who are out on loan, looking at potential people coming in. You should always be looking out there and ready for what becomes available.

“The last couple of games we’ve had a couple of young players perform really well and that augurs well for the future.”

And, it is in the future that McCall expects to really be able to put his stamp on the City squad and start to make some progress.

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“We’ll get to the end of the season and see where we’re at and look to really put our mark on it,” he said.

“I think you can only really stamp your authority and the way you want to play in your pre-season, when you’ve got four to six weeks of working without the results being the be-all and end-all.

“We’re trying to do things now and try different things, but we need results.

“It’s still a work in progress. We’re trying to get little bits across, habits. They have been driven into the lads. 

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“The lads are under no illusions as to what we’re after, and if they can’t do what we’re asking, then they know that they probably won’t be here next season.”

In the short-term, McCall insists that Bradford’s players cannot afford to look any further than Saturday’s home clash with 17th-placed Leyton Orient.

“It’s the old cliche – one game at a time. The focus is fully on Saturday,” he added.

“We’ve got to be really positive and aggressive and committed.

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“We think that they [Orient] might go a certain way , but I think we’ve just got to focus on how we’re going about the game, which we will do, and hopefully what we do will be enough to get the three points.”

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