Wigan Athletic v Bradford City: Self-belief of Bantams could bring down Latics

CONFIDENT: Bradford City boss, Stuart McCall.
Picture: Bruce Rollinson.
CONFIDENT: Bradford City boss, Stuart McCall. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.
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WIGAN ATHLETIC’S parachute payments for dropping out of the Premier League may have ended last summer, but Stuart McCall still believes today’s opponents are reaping the rewards of those riches.

The Latics sit second in the League One table, just a point behind leaders Shrewsbury Town, after manager Paul Cook was able to keep together many of the squad that had been relegated in May.

“It will be a big challenge for us against a team I expect to finish this season as champions,” said McCall, who is again without Timothee Dieng through injury.

“To me, they have the strongest squad, both in terms of depth and quality. They also have plenty of experience as well.

“Keeping together so many of last season’s squad from the Championship was a big help, I would imagine. A lot of relegated teams can’t do that so credit to Wigan for being able to do so. It was a squad put together when a Championship club and that quality has already been evident, especially as they have added a couple of decent loanees as well.

“But, as impressed as I have been by Wigan, we are going there to win. Our away record has been good this season and we want that to continue this weekend.

Wigan have a good record at home but I would back my players to go anywhere in this division if we stick to what we do best and are on top of our game.

Bradford City manager, Stuart McCall

“Wigan have a good record at home but I would back my players to go anywhere in this division if we stick to what we do best and are on top of our game.”

City are determined to bounce back from last weekend’s home defeat to Plymouth Argyle, a missed penalty by Tony McMahon costing the hosts dear.

“Our performance last week was not poor but the result was,” added McCall, whose side return to home soil on Tuesday night against Scunthorpe United and former City stalwart Rory McArdle. “We want to bounce back on what is always a pitch with wide, open spaces.

“Wigan will try and put us under pressure but we have the ability to take the game to them as well. We certainly won’t be going there with an inferiority complex, as we believe this is a game we can win.”