FRUSTRATED manager Stuart McCall blamed ‘schoolboy defending’ as Bradford City crashed to their fifth league and cup defeat in a row against in-form AFC Wimbledon at Valley Parade.
A team that went through last season unbeaten at home in the League have now lost eight League matches at Valley Parade and their current run of defeats is threatening to derail their play-off challenge.
They have lost six of their last eight League One matches and won only two, conceding 19 goals in the process to leave them in fifth position with a minus goal difference.
Little wonder that McCall is desperate to retain top scorer Charlie Wyke as clubs hover ahead of the transfer window closing on Wednesday night.
McCall said: “You can’t legislate for individual errors, but the goals we are conceding are so soft – poor defending, horrendous defending. We are not giving ourselves a chance.”
McCall, who was sent to the stands for accidentally catching an assistant linesman with his arm towards the end, is hoping the signing of four new players at the end of last week will help to halt City’s slump. “They all have a strong mentality and will give everyone a lift,” he said.
However, Wyke is being monitored by several Championship clubs, including home-town Middlesbrough where he began in the juniors.
McCall values the 12-goal top scorer at £5m but will be hoping he is still at Valley Parade by the end of the week.
Wimbledon went ahead in the 13th minute with a low shot into the far corner from Millwall loanee Jimmy Abdou.
After Dominic Poleon had a strike disallowed for offside, the visitors doubled their lead in the 59th minute, Andy Barcham stabbing the ball home after taking a pass from Cody McDonald.
You can’t legislate for individual errors, but the goals we are conceding are so soft – poor defending, horrendous defending. We are not giving ourselves a chance.Bradford City manager, Stuart McCall
McDonald then completed the rout with two further goals – the third in the 65th minute with a shot that goalkeeper Rouven Sattelmaier got a hand to but could not stop and in the 79th minute after exchanging passes with substitute Joe Pigott.
Bradford are a point clear of Rotherham, who have a game in hand, and two ahead of Charlton Athletic, who have two games in hand.
Bradford City: Sattelmaier, Guy, Knight-Percival, Kilgallon, Chicksen, Reeves (Lund 61), Vincelot, Law (Gibson 69), P Taylor, Wyke, Poleon (Bruenker 61). Unused substitutes: Raeder, Dieng, McCarten, Warnock.
AFC Wimbledon: Long, Fuller, Charles, Oshilaja, Francomb (Meades 76), Abdou (Hartigan 81), Trotter, Soares, Barcham, McDonald, L Taylor (Pigott 69). Unused substitutes: McDonnell, Robinson, Forrester, Kennedy.
Referee: G Eltringham (Sunderland).