Pressure no problem as new Bradford City manager Derek Adams aims high

BEING thrust into an ‘us against the world’ type scenario is nothing unusual to new Bradford City manager Derek Adams.

AIMING HIGH: New Bradford City manager at Valley Parade yesterday. Picture: Thomas Gadd.

History suggests that he positively relishes it.

The Scot, who has signed a three-year deal with the Bantams, has a merited reputation as a promotion expert and boasts four on his strong managerial CV, with the latest one taking place at Morecambe as the Shrimps produced the EFL story of the 
2020-21 campaign.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Four days on from taking Morecambe to a historic first-ever promotion to League One – in the first season of a three-year plan to achieve that – Adams, with his mission complete, headed over the Pennines after a compensation deal was struck with the Lancashire outfit.

SUCCESS: Derek Adams celebrates on the touchline towards the end of the League Two playoff final at Wembley as Morecambe sealed promotion. Picture: John Walton/PA

At Morecambe, the club with the smallest budget in League Two in 2020-21, the 45-year-old achieved something remarkable and against the odds, while his promotion to the third tier with Plymouth Argyle in 2016-17 was all about reviving the biggest club in the south west.

A club whose previous demise had been one that rivals and smaller divisional clubs took great delight in.

In his time at Ross County – a club also on the geographical margins in Scotland, just as Plymouth are in England – Adams put them firmly on the map.

His job brief at City is all about being the man to lead the club back into League One. There is pressure at the biggest club in League Two for sure – a different sort of pressure to Morecambe – but rest assured, he is up for the fight and is backing himself.

New radfoird City manager Derek Adams. Picture: Thomas Gadd.

He said: “I am here because I like working under pressure and if you take this job, you are going to be under pressure from day one.

“You have got to get yourself moving and out of this league into League One. I am under no illusions what this job entails.

“At Plymouth, we had to do exactly the same and Morecambe was a different situation – keeping a club in the Football League and then we got ourselves out of the division. I know what I am here to do.”

A proven winner and with a single-minded focus in his pursuit of success, Adams is not particularly concerned about upsetting any rivals along the way.

NOW HEAR THIS: Derek Adams with Bradford City CEO Ryan Sparks at Friday's press conference. Picture: Thomas Gadd.

Adams riled Newport fans after stating in a post-match interview on Monday that he had “no sympathy” for Michael Flynn’s side following the two contentious calls in Morecambe’s win.

In his time at Plymouth, there was also well-documented friction with Adams’s counterpart at Portsmouth in Paul Cook.

To the Aberdonian, it is ultimately about fighting your corner. Us versus them.

Making no apologies for that mindset, he continued: “I couldn’t care who the opposition are or who is in the opposition dug-out.

“I was fighting for this football club (Plymouth) and he (Cook) was doing exactly the same for Portsmouth and I would expect nothing less.

“I think that you need to have that in your armoury as you need your team to be fighters and work hard and you want to see what you are as a manager and possibly a wee bit as a player out there on the pitch.

“The reason is because I want to win and I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. There is no point being the manager of a football club if you don’t want to win and upset people.

“If you are going to upset people in the opposition dug-out and on the field of play, then I am only trying to do the best for my football club at that moment in time.”

Alongside ability, Adams – who will make a decision on his backroom staff in the weeks ahead – will place great stock in recruiting the right characters with the mentality to handle the expectation that comes with wearing the claret and amber jersey and ensuring it doesn’t hang heavy.

The City manager, who is not ruling out bringing in players from his old club, commented: “Of course, you need strong characters and strong people mentally and physically as well.

“Because when you have the supporters back in here, they want to see winning football and I think that is why you have to recruit the players that are capable of dealing with that.

“You need players who understand the venue of football clubs and understand the pressure that they are going to be under. That is no different for a manager.”

Support The Yorkshire Post and become a subscriber today. Your subscription will help us to continue to bring quality news to the people of Yorkshire. In return, you’ll see fewer ads on site, get free access to our app and receive exclusive members-only offers. Click HERE to subscribe.