Having netted Bradford City’s winner from the substitutes’ bench last time out, on-loan striker Aramide Oteh has staked his claim for a recall when the Bantams visit promotion rivals Swindon Town this afternoon.
The 21-year-old initially had to wait for a chance under Gary Bowyer following his arrival at Valley Parade from QPR in September, but has been a regular starter in recent months.
I’ve been unlucky recently with a few chances, keepers pulling off some great saves, so I was just happy and thankful.Aramide Oteh
He has, however, found himself benched for City’s last two matches, though still managed to make a telling contribution during the New Year’s Day success over Morecambe, bagging the only goal of the game 20 minutes after coming on.
And while he accepts that he might have been ready for a rest during what is the busiest period of the season, Oteh has now given boss Bowyer something of a selection headache.
“It felt really good,” said Oteh of his 80th-minute winner.
“I’ve been unlucky recently with a few chances, keepers pulling off some great saves, so I was just happy and thankful to see that one go in.
“There’s a lot of games , especially in this period. I felt like I wasn’t necessarily playing my best, but still trying for the team.
“I was quite tired, so sometimes you have to sit out and others come in and do a good job and I’m just happy to come off the bench and get the three points.”
In addition to the fact that he produced such a composed finish against the Shrimpers, Oteh’s hopes of a return to the starting XI will also be boosted by the fact that City have been far from prolific in front of goal recently.
The Bantams have netted just five times in their last six outings, yet have remained unbeaten during that period by virtue of the fact that they’ve conceded just once, keeping an impressive five clean-sheets in the process.
“Knowing we’ve got that solidity at the back is massive for us,” added Oteh.
“I know everyone wants to see us win three, four, but it’s not as easy as that.
“The 1-0 victories can feel sweeter than the fours and fives. Credit to the defence and Rich [O’Donnell] in goal but also the whole team to stop them from scoring – but at the same time be able to punish at the other end.”
City go into today’s clash fourth in the League Two standings, while hosts Swindon sit top of the pile. The previous meeting between the sides ended in a 2-1 win for the Bantams in early October.