Bristol Rovers v Bradford City - Happy travellers aim to overcome blip

IT has been a week of reflection at Bradford City.

Tony McMahon: Ruled out again.
Tony McMahon: Ruled out again.

Last Saturday’s home defeat to struggling Northampton Town, coming on the back of speculation that dead-ball specialist Tony McMahon was on his way to Scunthorpe United, left the mood downcast.

The Bantams, who have been a fixture in the top six this season for all but a fortnight in August and September, moved to lift spirits by offering free coach travel to today’s game at Bristol Rovers. Three points, of course, would be an even better tool to banish the negativity that has followed not only the Northampton loss but also the previous weekend’s lame FA Cup exit at Yeovil Town.

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“Every team, over the course of a season, will suffer little setbacks,” said assistant manager Kenny Black, who confirmed McMahon remains unavailable due to a calf injury. “We are experiencing ours but you don’t become bad players overnight. They are going through a little blip in form, that’s all.

“Their commitment and effort to be as good as they can be remains the same. We have got a squad of players and staff that are desperate to bounce back.”

City remain the Football League’s most impressive away team this season, their 13 road trips having yielded 29 points.

Black added: “We have been happy with our away performances. We have got every confidence going into the weekend but we have got respect for them. They will be looking for revenge (after losing 3-1 at Bradford earlier in the season).”

Bradford are still waiting to hear if Blackpool have accepted their bid for right-back Kelvin Mellor.