Walsall v Bradford City - ‘Everything is changing for the better,’ says David Hopkin

BRADFORD CITY manager David Hopkin believes his side having spent most of the past five months in the relegation zone can be a positive in today’s “six-pointer” with Walsall.

David Hopkin: Optimistic.

The Saddlers are one of several sides to have been dragged into trouble recently by a combination of poor results and the likes of the Bantams enjoying an upturn in form.

Just three points separate second-bottom Bradford from Gillingham in 17th place and victory today at the Banks’s Stadium will see Hopkin’s men leapfrog the hosts in the table.

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“We have clawed teams back in,” said the City manager. “We are only one point away (from safety) and we have to take that as a positive. How everything is changing for the better.

“Players are staying positive. They have been bubbly. They have been the same for the past few months. We need to keep that positivity.”

City’s December 15 victory over Walsall, 10th in the table at the time, began a horror run for the Midlands club that has seen the past 12 games yield just five points. Bradford have collected 18 in the same period.

Hopkin added: “We are into March and have a fantastic chance to remain in this league. We have to remain calm, positive and go out and express ourselves.

“This is a massive game for both clubs but this is a situation where we have been down there for 80-90 per cent of the season. It is something we are used to. We play with no fear.

“When you have been up there and get sucked in, it is very difficult. There is maybe a league of 10 at the bottom and we have to try and finish top of that. This has been our aim since November.

“There is no extra pressure for us. This is a game we are looking forward to. A real six-pointer but one that will, hopefully, see us move out of the bottom four.”