Gillingham v Bradford City: Hope Akpan says Bantams will not panic as they bid to move up

BRADFORD CITY midfielder Hope Akpan insists the only way is up for the rock-bottom Yorkshire club.

Hope Akpan: Ready for the fight.
Hope Akpan: Ready for the fight.

The Bantams slipped to the foot of the table following defeat to Coventry City, the club’s fourth in a row.

It was the latest low in what is shaping up to be a season to forget at Valley Parade, but Akpan, back in the side on Tuesday after seven weeks out with a dislocated shoulder, insists it can be a turning point.

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“Being bottom can, hopefully, have a positive effect,” said the summer signing from Burton Albion.

“It can make us realise we are holding the league up.

“Let’s turn this around. We have hit rock bottom and there is only one way to go.

“We have to not panic. There are so many points to play for.”

City head to Gillingham today decimated by injury and suspension.

Akpan, however, is adamant that the Bantams can put a stop to a damaging run that has brought nine defeats in 11 games under head coach David Hopkin.

“There are points there to be won,” said the Liverpudlian midfielder. “This is not a doom-and-gloom case where we need points to stay up from the last two games. It is not desperate.”

Meanwhile, co-owner Stefan Rupp has pledged to “fully” back Hopkin in the January transfer window.

In a statement, Rupp said: “David is the man to take us forward – in the long term – and get the team moving in the right direction, away from the foot of the table.

“He faces a huge challenge, there is no doubt about that, but we all stand right behind him.”