Bradford City v Bristol Rovers: David Hopkin ready to get off the mark

NOT many record signings '“ and certainly not many who subsequently become manager '“ have more victories at a club's home ground in away colours than their own.

Thumbs up: Bantams chief David Hopkin.
Thumbs up: Bantams chief David Hopkin.

That, though, is David Hopkin’s unusual record at Valley Parade, a venue where he won on all three visits as a player with Crystal Palace and Leeds United.

In contrast, his seven-month stay in the 2000-01 season after joining Bradford City for £2.5m featured just two victories against RKC Waalwijk in the Intertoto Cup and Chelsea in the Premier League.

Now back at Bradford as head coach, Hopkin heads into today’s game with Bristol Rovers with a draw and a defeat from his first two home games since succeeding Michael Collins.

“We are all in this together,” said the Scot. “The fans have been fantastic. I would encourage anyone who has not been to come along. I do believe we can go on a run.

“We have got that bit stronger in the two weeks since Charlton. If we can continue building on that then, hopefully, the fans will see that.

“The players are starting to believe and buy into things. Everyone is enjoying it and, hopefully, we can get that first win.”

A five-game losing run was brought to an end in midweek by George Miller’s dramatic last-minute equaliser in the Checkatrade Trophy against Everton Under-21s, Bradford subsequently winning the penalty shoot-out.

It is League One, however, where City most badly need results with Hopkin’s men sitting third bottom with six points from nine outings.

A big four days lay ahead with a trip to AFC Wimbledon ahead on Tuesday night, the Londoners – like today’s visitors to Valley Parade, Bristol Rovers – sitting just two points above the struggling Bantams in the table.