Bradford City’s never-ending story continues

Bradford City 0
Salford City 1
Henderson 90+1

By Jason McKeown

Gary Bowyer will have enjoyed this one. 449 days since he was sacked as Bradford City manager, the interim Salford boss struck the final mathematical blow to the Bantams’ play off hopes and significantly strengthened his new club’s promotion aspirations.

When, deep in stoppage time, Ian Henderson beat the offside trap and finished expertly to clinch a dramatic victory, Bowyer would surely have allowed himself a wry smile. There was poetic justice for him in the fact Salford climbed into the top seven by defeating the club who dismissed him for falling out of the play off spots in February 2020.

The decision to end Bowyer’s Valley Parade tenure then added a significant blotch to his managerial record, after carefully carving out a decent reputation from his previous work guiding the crisis stricken Blackburn Rovers and Blackpool. Bowyer will have felt, with some justification, that having kept Bradford City in the top seven all season up to that point, he deserved a bit more time. Tellingly, the Bantams have not seriously threatened the play off positions since.   

Out of fashion, Bowyer ended up taking a position coaching Derby’s under 23-side earlier this season. His sudden loan move to Salford, to take charge until the end of the season, is said by those close to the Ammies to be a stopgap arrangement. But if Bowyer continues this revival of Salford’s promotion hopes and takes the ambitious club into League One, their illustrious owners might well decide to offer Bowyer the job full time.

Salford were far from impressive here. No club has deployed a bigger transfer budget in League Two this season, and for much of this strange campaign they’ve struggled under the weight of sizeable expectations. Yet the purposeful way they upped the tempo in the final stages at Valley Parade, throwing more players forward in search of a winner, was deservedly rewarded with Henderson’s decisive contribution. Finally, they’ve knocked a fading Forest Green out of the top seven. If Salford can hang in there for the last two games, they’ll fancy themselves to win the play offs too.

As Bowyer’s stock rises again, Bradford City remain saddled in almost exactly the same position that he left them in. They’re falling short of the aims and ambitions of a demanding fanbase, who are still feeling raw with pain at how the club stumbled back into League Two in the first place. The team and management are trying to demonstrate their promotion capability, but are lacking the required quality and – frankly – intelligence to do better. The style of play is unconvincing, even during victory. The football is once again as difficult to watch as the safety-first approach that greyed the final weeks of Bowyer’s Valley Parade tenure, where he badly lost the backing of supporters.

After the promise of January and February, and a late March revival in form after a slight dip, once again a sense of staleness has infested Bradford City. This was another poor performance from the home side, who quickly faded after a bright opening 10 minutes. “That’s probably the best we’ve played in a while,” was Mark Trueman’s somewhat questionable post-match verdict. And while the City boss rightly argued his side started well, the players all too quickly fell away as an attacking threat. “We need to maintain that [bright spell] for longer in the game,” he added.

City struggled to trouble a Salford backline who boast the best defensive record in League Two. They looked devoid of ideas and were left trying to hold on for a 0-0 draw. Something that, in the end, they failed to achieve. Although Trueman argued that Henderson was offside when he scored.

Given they had come into this contest on the back of four straight defeats, it was perhaps understandable that Trueman and Conor Sellars parked up ideals of experimenting and reverted City to their tried and tested 4-2-3-1. But though Callum Cooke is back in the number 10 role where he produced such a rich vein of form earlier this calendar year, and though the back four looked more solid again after being left too exposed in defeat at Port Vale, familiar problems resurfaced.

Namely, getting the wide players of the attacking midfield three to provide a meaningful contribution. This wasn’t a brilliant night for Charles Vernam, but it was an especially bad one for Gareth Evans.

Apart from a decent run of form in January, there’s no escaping the fact Evans has proven to be a very disappointing signing. Even without his past history with the Bantams, it looked a bit of a coup when Evans was brought in last summer – a player with a good record at Rotherham, Fleetwood and Portsmouth, deeply loved by Pompey fans. But whether it’s age, fitness or a combination of both, the 33-year-old just isn’t the force he used to be.

Tonight, Evans offered nothing but curiously stayed on the pitch despite his lack of impact. He didn’t deliver any key passes that led to a shot on goal, he didn’t produce a single successful dribble, he didn’t have a shot on goal, and was dispossessed twice. Vernam (two key passes, one successful dribble, three shots on goal and once dispossessed) wasn’t much better, but at least contributed something. Not least an excellent second half run and cross that Cooke couldn’t quite convert.

Aside from a clever early run and shot that tested the excellent Vaclav Hladky, Andy Cook also struggled to lead the line – he was completely dominated by the outstanding Jordan Turnbull. Overall, Cook has experienced a slightly worrying dip since his strong display at Harrogate, just at a point where you’d be expecting him to put everything on the line to earn a deal at City next season.

And so, with three of City’s four attacking players failing to hit the standards expected, the Bantams were reliant on being solid at the back and the holding midfielders digging in to earn a point that would have at least stopped the rot.

As the game wore on, Salford began to edge possession and territorial advantage. The 4-5-1 Bowyer employed won’t have any City fans looking back with regret at the way he was driven out of Valley Parade, but the patient manner they probed for opportunities and cranked up the pressure at the end was admirable. During those final 20 minutes, Bowyer matched Trueman and Sellars’ 4-2-3-1 with Robbie Gotts – playing the number 10/Cooke role – pushed higher up and linking up well with Henderson. Brandon Thomas-Asante was the best player on the pitch, running at City defenders and producing several threatening attempts on goal. “I thought in the second half we were terrific, It was a massive team effort,” beamed Bowyer.

Salford had chances to win it before Henderson finally struck. Turnbull wasted a good header opportunity in the box with a tame effort straight at Sam Hornby, and Anthony O’Connor made two brilliant last ditch blocks to deny Henderson. But the visitors never relented, their attacking intent demonstrated by the fact Levi Sutton was robbed of possession in his own half by the advancing centre half Turnbull – who had been up for a corner – and he set up Henderson to take his chance clinically. City reportedly tried to sign Henderson in the summer but couldn’t match the wages offered by Salford. If only.

At the full time whistle, Bowyer turned to the empty main stand and punched the air. While Trueman and Sellars looked crestfallen as they trooped off the pitch. The irony for the pair is that they have somehow managed to fall into the same trap that they found when they were elevated to caretaker managers back in December. And, like the manager they replaced, they increasingly look short of ideas over how to fix it.

Five league defeats in a row. We’ve not had such a bad run since, well, December – when Stuart McCall was sacked. The circumstances are different now in the sense that City are in no danger of relegation. But that’s small crumbs of comfort to take. Ultimately, it’s still another example of the Bantams suddenly plunging into freefall and a collective inability to halt the slide. Something is rotten inside that Valley Parade dressing room. It must be addressed by the summer’s player recruitment.   

McCall was sacked because he couldn’t stop losing runs. But Trueman and Sellars are suddenly repeating exactly the same pattern. For all their heroics in moving City away from relegation trouble, they had a big opportunity to push for promotion and failed to take it. And now results have completely collapsed.

As we wrote during that good period when they were in interim charge, the real test of Trueman and Sellars was always going to be how they would cope with set-backs and difficult moments. Up until two weeks ago, when they have had to show that side of management, they’d suggested they could produce positive answers. This end of season crumble suddenly throws up questions about their future. “It hurts,” Trueman admitted. “There is always pressure in this job to win games. We need to get back into that winning mentality.”

Where McCall and Trueman/Sellars differ is in their approach. McCall refused to take a pragmatic route and shut up shop when it was clear his injury-hit side could not outplay opposition sides. Trueman and Sellars remain fearful of taking more risk and – if anything – recent results will have only strengthened their resolve to be pragmatic. Different outlooks, but the same outcomes.  

The level of criticism Trueman and Sellars are now receiving has a harsh edge to it. They still deserve a lot of credit for the way they rescued the club from the cliff-edge spectre of relegation to the National League. Because for a while back then, it was starting to get very worrying. But even accepting the revival they’ve overseen; the unavoidable reality is that Bradford City are still punching way below their level. The Bantams are on track for a worst league finish in 10 years. A fourth straight year of finishing in a lower position than the one before it.

Supporters want to feel inspired and confident about the future – recent results simply do not offer that.

The habitual rolling of the dice at Valley Parade has had largely dismal results – from McCall to Simon Grayson to Michael Collins to David Hopkin to Bowyer to McCall again. The change to Trueman and Sellars is the first time since Phil Parkinson that the club has actually moved forwards, in terms of league position, after changing manager. Rolling the dice yet again has obvious risks. But if not rolling the dice in the summer only delays the club from doing it midway during the 2021/22 campaign anyway, there is a risk that elongating the situation could result in yet another wasted season.

Football and League Two is full of stories good and bad caused by changing managers. Salford don’t think they’re going to get promoted, so they sack the guy who won League Two last season and hire a manager deemed not capable of taking Bradford City up 16 months ago. On the same night as Bowyer wins at City, Cheltenham Town earn promotion after sticking with Michael Duff for nearly three seasons. Grimsby and Southend will be relegated despite swapping managers mid-season. Barrow stay up, after changing managers four times since promotion to the Football League. Stick or twist? Stick or twist? It’s a never-ending story.

There are two games of this campaign left, and for Trueman and Sellars there is an awful lot riding on both fixtures. If they can stop the rut and chalk up a couple of victories, they can go into an important close season with enough breathing space to plot a promotion push next season.

But if the losing run continues, they’re going to leave the club with a difficult dilemma.

Categories: Match Reviews

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38 replies

  1. I think your last two paragraphs sum up the current management situation nicely.

    If I were T&S and City didn’t get a result and importantly performances, in the last two matches of the season, then I think they should consider asking to return to coaching the youth teams. No sacking, just a realisation that it has gone as far as it can in the short/medium term and that the sensible thing is to stand down.

  2. I believe the situation has gone on long enough and the management duo have shown nothing to say the situation will change in the next 2 games.

    14 players out of contract is a massive rebuild in the Summer. There’s very little evidence given the last transfer window in January that gives me confidence T&S have the ability to build a team that can play anything like decent footballand take the club forward given the negative style and tactics served up in the last 10 games which has been absolutley painful and frankly an embarrassing watch.

    The last home game of a difficult season throws up 2 teams on the back of 5 straight defeats with just 1 win in the last 17 games for the Iron. The 1 victory? Yes you guessed it against good old Bradford City. A very apt way to end the home campaign on Saturday will be to sign off by surrendering and handing another 3 points to yet another team that can’t buy a win for love nor money.

    After turning the club around after a torrid start under Stuart McCall the management duo have not built on the initial sucess of guiding City to safety. The effort from players has dropped off sharply with the management duo wasting a free pass to have ago for the play offs and play a less conservative style. Maybe the duo have been victims of their earl success. However, the last 10 games indicates that the club can’t afford to risk T&S rebuilding and moving the club forward.

  3. time for 2 P45’s to be issued in BD8!

    This ‘downturn’ started at the Bolton game – a pathetic run as long as McCall’s at the start of the season and there’s no sign these 2 know how to stop the rot!

    If they – by a miracle – are in charge at the beginning of next season, then you can forget ANY hopes of being in the top 7 for a playoff push as we WILL be fighting a relegation season AGAIN!


  4. Sadly the two managers have made it abundantly clear they will always be over cautious even when there is nothing to lose. It is clear they lack vision, imagination, flair – call it what you will. The precise timings of their substations seems pre-determined and not driven by the exigencies. They are in awe of certain senior players and show partiality to their own juniors. In a number of ways they are not up to standard.

  5. As I said before the last game – imagine the atmosphere if we lose to Bowyer
    Imagine the atmosphere if Bowyer had fist pumped to a full main stand.
    These two wont last long playing this kind of football in front of fans so they may as well go back to the youth team now (well in 2 games time when they have equalled McCalls sorry record of 13 points from 16 games)

  6. Started well then tailed off badly. It’s a repeat of the last few matches. The delima is like you say, stick or twist! Sacking them will impact recruitment. Any encombant will have to start again. If things go wrong he could argue it takes time to build a squad. So we are back to square one. Where does it end? We don’t know the players the club intends to sign in the summer. Would those signed suit any possible management replacement? There are some experienced managers out there but you know City. We seem to get the worse out of any manager we recruit. Parkinson is our only success in our recent history.
    If we stick with Trueman and Sellars it will bring a degree of continuity but it carries a health warning. Will they have the ability to change their cautious safety bore fest approach to offer alternate formation and tactics? I don’t think they can.
    Long suffering supporters need success. It is long overdue. Season ticket sales hang on events over the dying embers of this season. Sparks cannot afford to get this wrong.

  7. I endorse your assessment Jason in particular the lack of intelligence in the team and shown by the managers. We seem to be playing a system in a straight jacket which all opposition can now anticipate and exploit. The amount of space we concede when we don’t have possession is worrying. The lack of flair becomes boring and even when we show some individual forward movement, there is no one backing up, options are so limited. We can be plotted and predicted so even the teams at the bottom of the league can have a plan against us. And we cannot see and address our own failings.

    We are too narrow, players generally stay in their allotted position, no swapping to test the oppo. One touch football has gone (perhaps a confidence thing) but ball control is poor. Watching the knock around warmups you can see who is bothered and who isn’t. Do we practice tackling? I’m not sure if we have the know-how.
    Yes I am making comment on a team in a losing run but there are reasons for losing.

    We aren’t smart enough and that is the responsibility of the management team. Perhaps the experiment of two managers is now backfiring because its managing by committee when often changes need to be made by instinct.

    Sadly I doubt whether we have got the management structure for a successful go next season, I hope I’m wrong but they have a lot of keen evaluation of their own objectives, methods and performances to complete before its too late.

  8. There is no way T & S will be in charge over summer. They’ve done their jobs to keep us up but it’s unattainable for them to continue.
    Regarding our squad, yet again we need another root and branch clear out, It’s becoming like Groundhog Day.
    When PP was in charge, our side could pick itself. Players/Staff were settled and knew their jobs. Nowadays it’s mess every year. So many players just end up disappointing.
    Something needs changing as the club feels rotten to the core. These are sad times

  9. There are, apparently, 14 players out of contract at the end of the season. This would present an opportunity for a new manager to bring in players of his choice and mould them into a promotion seeking side. That would be the theory anyway. However, should the club continue with T&S in charge, I believe that they would have difficulty in attracting the type of players that we would need to achieve promotion. They simply do not have the experience or gravitas to attract players with skill and ambition. Yes, they should return to the Under 18 set up where they have been successful. I fear a significant drop off in season ticket purchases if T&S are going to be in charge next season.

  10. Let’s look back at January – and the “great” transfer window.. the “best transfer window in years” shall we?

    Burrell – where is he – one sub appearance, what a waste. – FAIL
    Stevens – beat off interest from other teams to bring him here – but he only got on the bench a few times and when he did get a chance, didn’t look interested – FAIL
    Rowe – Finally a striker who knew where the net was. The perfect partner for Noves / The Don. Someone who the fans could get behind and lift the team, yet he was played as a loan front man and rotated even when playing well, so – understandably – got fed up and couldn’t be bothered. Jumped ship at first opportunity. FAIL
    Cook – A striker who we could pair with Rowe whilst Noves was injured – good loan signing on paper – except they didn’t lay the two, they played one u front and whilst Cook has been a good signing, the chances have dried up. – maybe HIT
    Vernam – flatters to deceive – always seems to be played on the right even though left footed, so never there to deliver those flying byline crosses – JURY OUT
    Crankshaw – another flying winger played on the wrong side – has flitted in and out of games, but has shown enough that if he got a run of games played as an actual winger he could deliver. Not reliable though. – JURY OUT
    Foulds – never been given a chance to replace Wood. Been ok at best as a centre half. JURY OUT
    Canavan – revelation since he came in, formed a fantastic partnership with Paudie that may mean the end of AOCs tenure at Valley Parade. Badly missed since his injury. – HIT.

    Not sure that fills me with confidence that the combination of Turnbull, Sparks, Trueman and Sellars have the ability to build a winning and attacking team – as only 25% of signings have added real value.

    • The football was better under McCall even if we lost games making basic defensive errors. The football we serving up is not exciting or even interesting. Other teams know how we play and when we have players injured like Cooke we are unable to adapt or fill that position. I don’t get how clubs like Morecambe, Accrington etc our perform us season after season with very limited resources.

    • Exactly has i have called it on the T and A forums when others were declaring it the “best transfer window ever”. Itasactually a poor ratio of success and will need a far better hit ratio when replacing 14 players in the summer

  11. As everyone else has noted, this is all very difficult. T&S don’t fill anyone with confidence and at the moment, unless there is a miracle in the next two games, it certainly looks as though they are best returning to the youth team. The problem is that the 14 have a real incentive to get through those games unscathed, rather than put in 110%, while the others are probably thinking more about beaches than pitches. Tbh I’m not sure the managers are the biggest problem, its about the weakness of the team. It isn’t as though we have any really poor players to point at to be got rid of – BRE and DMH were obvious targets in the January window – the rest can all offer something some of the time but nobody looks good all the time let alone prove worthy of building a team around. Yet when we have tried to build a new team, as per Rahic, the results were disastrous. Frankly I have no idea where we go from here, sadly I’m not sure anyone at VP is in any better position.

  12. Regardless of the results from the last two games, I think the fate of our management duo is already sealed. It’s bad enough watching this style of football if a team is grinding out results but, when goals are in short supply and victories are non existent, there is little alternative but to act . There is little, or no, expectation of getting anything from upcoming games. Even a free ifollow pass is no incentive to watch.

    Uppermost in Ryan’s mind at present will be the threat to season ticket sales. Who’s going to be coaxed to visit VP, to watch more of the same?

  13. The ‘playoff push’ has been abysmal. It is not acceptable for Bradford City to be lagging behind Crawley, Morecambe, Cheltenham etc etc etc. Not at all convinced that the current manager duo should be in charge over the summer. Nothing less than promotion is good enough next season.

    • Other teams are where they are on merit though – although quite how Cheltenham are top of the league and already promoted, I don’t know – they were very poor when we played them.

      Morecambe don’t try to be anything but what they are – a lower league football team – they keep it simple and straight forward, and get results because other teams try to lay around them.

      We can’t do the basics right, so we are also where we are on merit – a bang average team, with a bang average points tally, right in the middle of the fourth division.

  14. Just adding to the above comments, we seem to constantly 1 second behind play with and without the ball, we make one pass forward for every 4 passes back, our two center mids are too slow in possession and gift the ball away constantly. We have a negative goal difference pretty much all season which keeps us in mid table until this is addressed we’ll stay there. Our warm-up is a joke has highlighted by BBC Cumbria commentators @the away game (Carlisle). I asked Andy K on Radio Leeds the game after for his opinion on that subject and have kept an eye on it since it’s been a joke and it’s an issue for me. 14 players out of contract is another (I genuinely think that todays modern footballers couldn’t give a toss when there coming out of contract) we missed a great chance to get out of this division and T&S have to bare the brunt of that. After the game last night they march across the pitch to speak to the analyst team to see if he was off-side (I thought he was BTW) but then march past the referee and don’t hake his hand. That’s a disgrace boy’s and we’re better than that. You lost a point lads when we never set out to win 3, we got what we deserved again. With fans in the ground you’d have been booed off and rightly so based on what you offered up last night. Be honest with yourselves simply not good enough…!!

  15. After the ” brilliant “, said by many Jan. transfer window its now looking anything but. I thought during the close season we would only need to recruit around half a side for a promotion push but it looks like its gonna need a lot more than that now.

    • I’m not for a moment suggesting the January window was wholly successful. But let’s take a step back here. Not only did we bring in was it seven? “Decent” players. We also were decisive in letting go of I think four really poor attitudes. So at the time it was a fair reaction to say this was a really good window. On reflection we might call it Decisive and purposeful. And compared to all windows over the last five years, it was a massive improvement and hence may have looked “brilliant” when put in that context.
      I share the concerns around our “hit” ratio with signings. Especially strikers. We seem to kill them at VP. and it’s not new. I can probably name four hits in 30 years. Exclude Hanson and wells cos I’ll call them “development” signings. But strikers we paid a decent fee for fail almost every time. Hits being. McCarthy. Mills. Windass. Wyke. I’d add adebola & stead in there too but for different reasons. But the misses up top are countless.
      I’m also concerned about the keeper situation. We’ve historically had good keepers at city. Generally. We must mail down a really mentally strong, senior, vocal spine of the team. One that shows the correct leadership and standards at all times.
      It’s so hard to find when you’re languishing in mid table league two though.
      Maybe the misfits approach with a point to prove can be the right way. Accepting injuries may be why they have hampered their rise up the pyramid. The best example of this is Andrew Davies. That guy was a massive coup for city. And he really helped set the standards at the club. I know so many people rightly laud Jones in that team. But the impact Davies had was massive. It paved the way for the likes of mcardle. Darby. Doyle. And others rode the momentum Meredith after a few ups and downs. The professionalism and hunger to win ugly was what stood out. I know people throw away the comment oh Parkinson’s team were hard to watch. I think it’s over egged that sentiment. They were hard men eager to gain the extra inches and yards to scrap for points. Well that’s how I like to remember those sides anyway. My point being were soft these days. In these leagues you need tough hard strong mentalities. Very very hard to find. Good luck city. CTID

  16. I’m all for giving managers time and try to look for the reasons behind underperformance. They’ve got almost a full compliment of players to choose from and performances are definitely concerning. However, January’s recruitment can’t have been based around how they want to play when there was no expectation they would continue to be managers. Again a short term view from the club, it is a cobbled together group of (potentially talented) individuals rather than a strategic assembly into a system. They should be credited for getting results out of that.

    Back when Stuart was sacked I didn’t want to see him leave as I could rationalise the struggles in my head. Novak injured and Vaughan leaving left us without a goal scorer and a number of injury problems to deal with. Although there can and should definitely be criticism of recruitment – I think he was somewhat justified to leave money in the pot to go after in January – a situation that T&S benefitted from.

    Go back further and Parkinson had the awful spell winning 1 game in 21. He lost Wells who his whole style was based around and got the McClean signing wrong. Again it could be rationalised and fortunately we stuck with him with more success following.

    When we sacked Colin Todd this was following his two most vital assets being sold (Windass/Johnson) and again we went on a dreadful run of form.

    I think it is harsh to say there is something ‘rotten in the dressing room’ unless, Jason, you know something we don’t? There’s a lack of confidence and teams have worked us out (stop Cooke, stop Bradford). Was something rotten in that Parkinson changing room of 1 win in 21 with those characters we had?

    The one thing consistent thing about League 2 is that teams are inconsistent. They go on runs of form where they look like they’ve lost it losing 5/6 games in a row and then put a run of back to back wins together.

    I’m not sure T&S are the right managers for Bradford City but I’m equally not sure they aren’t. Again similar to my feelings when Stuart left, who would we replace them with? Did Wellens actually ‘win’ League 2 last year can he actually get players over the line when it matters or did he get lucky with PPG? If we hired him and he started next season like he ended this one with Salford (the best squad on paper in the league) would we be sacking him?

    We sacked a manager who took us to a League 1 play-off final because of 16 underwhelming and definitely concerning games but if McCall has Canavan/Cook/Rowe/Crankshaw instead of Don/Mottley-Henry/BRE to choose from does anyone realistically think he wouldn’t have steered us well clear of relegation? Stevenage were 1 place below us in the table then and they still are now without changing manager.

    A look at the League 2 top scorers list is a damning representation of the way this club has been run and ultimately of Bowyer too. If we had a side playing to the strengths of Doyle and Vaughan then would Vaughan be bothered about the long trips from Merseyside if he’s scoring goals and in a winning team rather than hoping we win a penalty? Would Doyle be bothered about getting out if instead of firing balls up to his head we are firing balls into the box for him to attack.

    I am very much as disappointed as anyone with what’s happening at the moment but we can’t keep doing the same thing over and over and expect different results. I may be very wrong but perhaps a case for the alternative argument and to the increasingly vocal shouts for change

    • I definitely agree will all your comments, particularly how you feel and about McCall. I feel exactly the same .
      With the players he would have had available from the January transfer window , he would have used them better than T&S. However I get his sacking but in hindsight I more confused now than then . It’s stick or twist time again . We back to what I didn’t want back in December, the manager revolving door. We been doing this for last few years and it has got us nowhere.. I wonder what Mr Rupp is thinking 🤔

    • Super comment – agree totally.

      I do think we need to keep in mind that T&S were only appointed as caretakers initially and then made ‘permanent’ until the end of the season. I may be attributing competance where none is due here but I would hope Sparkes and Turnbull would have used the time to keep a watching brief on the situation and may have possibly been lining up a different team for next season.

      In a sense this is not a new ‘stick or twist’ decision – we’re still ‘mid – twist’ following Stuart’s sacking.

  17. The ”Knifes” are out again in Bradford will the managers survive, Have the supporters become as Toxic as Edin Rahic was, Will we ever be satisfied, The only saving grace is the football team for once are not being individually slated or ridiculed out out out with all of you is the usual cry
    Does anybody think that the monumental effort both physically and mentally it has taken this club to do the ”U” Turn needed for div 2 survival has not taken its toll on the team this season, Must have been hard on all clubs with Covid19 restrictions travel and separation as well as playing in empty stadiums
    Surely even the most hard nosed Toxic breathing Bradford city fan will give a little slack to those who have tried maybe even give them the whole of next season as a thank you

  18. One (vegan)crumb of comfort.
    Losing to Salford ditched.the Vegans out of the play offs!!! Hopefully they will stay out of it.
    Can accept Newport or Exeter
    In the play offs but not The veggies, Salford.or Morecambe

  19. The recruitment in the summer is crucial to the future of our club. The owner needs to take a long hard look at his business, dose he stick or twist .Keep theading water and hope we get lucky or invest like any other business would to grow your business with a solid business plan.It would in my view mean changes.
    I would go for experience someone with a track record of been successful .It will cost, but you get what you pay for otherwise I can see further decline.

  20. I for one will be willing to give Trueman and Sellars another season if it means more money for acquiring new players. I expect next season to be very demanding, financially. Seriously, this could be City’s last kick of the can. Then again, we can all hope and pray that Rupp shows mercy and sells or gives the Club away this summer. Either way, there are no guarantees of a happy ending.

  21. 39 years of following City seen the following.

    3 promotions, 1 championship (36 years ago), 2 ‘nearly promoted’ seasons, 5 relegations, 3 admins, 2 decent cup runs. Last success? 6 years ago…

    I don’t think City fans are ‘Toxic’ we are just starved of success and sick of the lack of action to turn around the sinking ship that has been HMS Bradford City.

    In the last year we have all missed football at Valley Parade and various away grounds. Problem is some fans have found other stuff to do, so is the commitment there for another. ‘We go again and let’s hope we sneak into the playoffs’ hit and hope season? Staying up in League 2 should never be an acceptable target for the season at Valley Parade.

    • I agree but from where we were in November I will take it

    • You’re selling us short Jon.

      Its 4 promotions and 3 ‘nearly promoted seasons in that time I reckon. You could also add in 4 Wembley appearances but that may be double counting…!

  22. Well changing managers has brought us lots iifsuccess hasn’t it how many is it now unlucky 13 in 10 years.
    Anybody coming in here would either have no experience or failed elsewhere what T&S achieved by dragging us up the table has been under rated by many.
    What was required to achieve safety their target when appointed was not necessary the same as what is required to take us out of this league.
    They deserve and need another window before we get back on the magic roundabout of failed and has been managers

    • Under Rupp and Rahic’s ownership we have seen eight manager changes in five years. That is really quite astounding when compared to their early promise of greater stability in management employment at City.That was based on their observation that managers only lasted on average eleven months in England. I wonder what the average length of employment is in Germany??

  23. To lose 5 in a row is undoubtedly worrying and the inability to create chances is equally concerning but comparing this run with the earlier run under SM is ridiculous.

    At that time the season was alive and we were being outplayed week in week out. I commented on WOAP that SM should be stuck with but then after the last few games there was no hiding place. City’s style then wasn’t better to watch, it was atrocious. If Oldham had put 10 past us (think it was the cup game), we couldn’t have complained. We can say that had SM had the transfer window and a few players fit, he would have turned it round but we’d be guessing. Sparks couldn’t risk it, oblivion beckoned.

    These last few games, we have narrowly lost each time and yes we have been disappointing but the situation is not the same, the season is as good as over.

    I worry that T&S aren’t the right people but who is? Wellens is the only one not in a job who has a good record. Others have ok records, succeeded on occasion, failed equally AND some are just on the merry go round. Bowyer – now there was dour football, much as this has been frustrating, it isn’t comparable with that.

    Stick or twist, we’ll that’s up to Sparks. He will have confidantes in the playing staff who he trusts and who will know whether T&S are the right team long term but whatever happens, I for one will say well done to T&S on their overall achievement. That run pulled us away from oblivion and helped us get through the lockdown if nothing else.

  24. I’m fed up of twisting when it comes to managers especially our manager. For too many seasons, there’s been too many knee jerk reactions to a poor run of results. I know that I was in the minority last December when I said stick with Stuart McCall.
    For what Trueman and Sellars have done in the past five months, they deserve to be our management team at the start of next season. Under the Covid-19 restrictions, they have performed admirably.
    What difference does it make if we finish 8th or 22nd? Sacking manager after manager is part of the reason why we have been on a downward spiral since May 2017. When will anybody ever learn? It’s just part of the crazy managerial merry go round!!

  25. Tough decision for Sparks and probably easier to sack them rather than give them time. At some point we are going to have to ditch the revolving door policy in managerial appointments. If not now when?

  26. Richie Wellens anyone ?

  27. I really hope someone is talking to Parky!! The most successful Manager we have had and he’s available!! Knows how to get out of League 2 . Worked at a higher league must be aware of players who could do a job for us and willing to graft instead of these guys who have thoughts elsewhere. Com on Ryan you know it makes sense. At least talk to him. He knows how to get us out of this mess. These guys gave up weeks ago. T+S did well but let them have their previous jobs back.

  28. In brief because the message is simple: if the Chief Executive cannot see his two appointees are not up the job then he himself is part of the problem. I don’t intend to make the point again. If you need to be told, Mr Sparks, you will never know.

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