Important Bradford City striker in frame for long-awaited return against Blackburn Rovers

Charlie Wyke could return to the bench for Bradford City this weekend after a five-week lay-off.
Bradford City striker Charlie WykeBradford City striker Charlie Wyke
Bradford City striker Charlie Wyke

The 24-year-old, a £250,000 January signing from Carlisle United, suffered a hamstring injury during pre-season that has ruled him out of the opening three games.

However, after Wyke returned to full training today, manager Stuart McCall is expecting to name the striker in his squad to face Blackburn Rovers.

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“Charlie is back on the grass today,” said this lunchtime. “He joined in some ball work on Tuesday, was in Wednesday and then joined in the full session today.

“Unless there is a reaction, such as being stiff after five weeks out, then there is a chance he will be on the bench.

“He has been working ever so hard. I know that is not the same as playing games but he looked strong and sharp in training.”

Wyke netted seven in his first 13 games for the Bantams last season before the goals dried up during the run-in.

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It is not just his strike-rate, however, that McCall believes City have been missing.

He said: “We have lost a bit of physicality up front (without Wyke), someone to bring others into the game.

“Charlie scores goals but he is a good target man. Plus, from the defensive side of things, he gives us a bit of extra height. We haven’t got a big midfielder, full back or whoever to provide one of the five markers you need at set-pieces.

Gillingham had a couple of free headers because we are probably one short at the moment. It is an area where we could do with Charlie back.”