Bradford City’s Connor Wood sets sights on next landmark

CONNOR WOOD’s 100th game for Bradford City ended in dramatic fashion and the Bantams left-back hopes it is the first of many milestones at Valley Parade.

Get in: Danny Rowe is congratulated by teamatess after scoring the equalising goal. Pictures: Simon Hulme

The 24-year-old has played every minute of the Bantams’ League Two campaign but admits that after relegation from League One in his first season with the club, he could not have imagined reaching triple figures.

He and his team-mates celebrated a last-gasp draw against in-form Bolton, keeping their play-off hopes alive and extending their unbeaten run to six games.

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Danny Rowe claimed the late equaliser for the hosts after Nathan Delfouneso had given Bolton the lead on 83 minutes.

Late strike: Danny Rowe celebrates after equalising.

“The loss would have tarnished it so it was a really good feeling when Rowey hit the back of the net,” reflected Wood.

“You could see all the boys were elated with the celebrations and it was great for me to take home a point on my 100th appearance.

“When I signed, I would have hoped to hit a landmark like that. But with the way the first season went here, I couldn’t really see it.

“To get into this form of playing back-to-back games and keeping my shirt, I’m hoping it’s not the last landmark I hit.”

The draw means Bradford are four points outside the play-off spots, with 15 games of the season remaining.

The Bantams have played fewer games than the majority of sides above them. There are just four points between City and Newport County, whom they face in Cardiff tomorrow, in sixth.

“There are 15 games left for us and it’s a big run-in. We’ve just got to continue this form and stay focused,” continued Wood.

“We’re all fighting for the same thing and, hopefully, we can pick up as many points as we deserve. Who knows where we’ll end up come the end of the season?

“I don’t think we can look too far ahead at the moment with how tight it is. We’ve just got to stay on this good run of form and keep battling away.”

Wood was pleased with how Bradford responded to going behind on Saturday.

Clayton Donaldson almost equalised immediately after Delfouneso’s opener, but the experienced Matt Gilks got down to his right to claw away the header.

Wood added: “The goal we conceded was unfortunate but I felt we took the game to them after that. We kept our heads up and didn’t panic.

“We were really chasing the goal, gambling on second balls and throwing bodies into the box.

“It just shows the resilience of the lads and the mentality we’ve got. That comes from the good run of form and the momentum we’re building. Confidence comes with it.

“We’ve got to stay positive and focused and go into games with a real positive attitude.”

Wood hailed the impact of joint managers Mark Trueman and Conor Sellars, who have taken Bradford from 20th to 10th in the league table since taking charge.

The pair have lost just once in 15 games and Wood believes their attention to detail has played a part in their early success.

He said: “They are great to play for. They have come in really positive and instilled a load of confidence in the lads.

“They give you all the resources you need so there are no excuses not to go out there and put in a good performance.

“You can see with the way the lads are playing at the moment, we’re putting in 110 per cent effort for them.

“The stuff they give us in training and analysis is brilliant and it’s massive credit to them the job they are doing here.

“They’ve put their own style into us, given us everything we need.

“They give you everything you need to know as a team or individually. They don’t take any shortcuts, they go into every single detail.

“Straight after this game they’ll be working hard to prepare for the next one.”

Bradford’s next game is against Newport but will be played at the Cardiff City Stadium after Michael Flynn’s side asked for the fixture to be moved to prevent further damage to the Rodney Parade playing surface.

Joint manager Trueman hailed the character of the Bantams as they fought until the final whistle to rescue a draw against Ian Evatt’s Bolton.

“This group of players keeps answering them questions, at the start of the season there were a lot of questions thrown at them,” added Trueman.

“They are answering them now in the way they are reacting. Whether we are trying to keep the door shut or we are chasing the game, we have the mindset to keep going to the end.

“We want to try and get as many points as we can. We have got to respect the opposition and we will take a draw today.”

Bradford City: Hornby; A O’Connor, P O’Connor, Canavan, Wood; Watt; Vernam (Clarke 70), Sutton, Cooke (Rowe 70), Crankshaw (Stevens 82); Cook (Donaldson 82). Unused substitutes: O’Donnell, Cousin-Dawson, Scales. 

Bolton Wanderers: Gilks; Jones, Almedia Santos, Baptiste, John; Williams, Lee; Isgrove (Ghanhoua 87), Sarcevic (Delfouneso 79), Afolayan; Doyle (Miller 87). Unused substitutes: Tutte, Maddison, Brockbank, Thomason. 

Referee: L Doughty (Lancashire).

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