What next for Bradford City? The summer rebuild begins

By James Chamley

After a demoralising performance and defeat in the play off semi final to Carlisle, Bradford City now know what division they’ll be playing in next season. League Two. Again.

This week, you would think the powers at be will be finalising plans for recruitment and making a decision on the players who will and won’t be a part of the squad for next season. Having ultimately fallen short, there’s a lot to consider. 


Unless a team from a higher division come in with a decent sum of money for Harry Lewis, this is one area of the field City won’t need to majorly address over the summer.

Harry Lewis has had a great first season as a number one goalkeeper, being one of the standout players and becoming a real fan favourite. But I’m sure he’ll reflect on a lot of things he still has to learn, mainly how he commands his penalty area. Our set piece record defensively as a team has been poor and, without looking at the stats, it feels like a lot of the goals conceded from set pieces have been from in an around the six yard box, an area where a dominant goalkeeper would come out and claim the ball or even punch it away.

It has been clear to see for a while now that teams are loading the six yard box and targeting their set pieces into that area. Lewis would do well to go away and work on this for next season, particularly if he is to stay with us in League Two where this attribute for a goalkeeper is a key one.

Colin Doyle seems to have had an excellent impact this season as goalkeeping coach but how long he has left balancing this with being second choice goalkeeper remains to be seen. Maybe a second choice keeper will sign in the summer – perhaps this was the thinking of loan signing Joe O’Shaughnessy earlier in the season, which did seem a confusing one at the time given his lack of action. 

Central defence

For most of the season, City’s defence has been largely excellent. This has resulted in us having the 4th best defensive record in the league.

For the first half of the season, Matty Platt and Romoney Crichlow formed a solid, well-balanced partnership. However, the centre of defence did look suspect if either of these two were missing – Yann Songo’o and Timmy Odusina both having dubious games when deputising. Hence the loan departure of Songo’o, the disappearance of Odusina and most importantly, the arrival of Sam Stubbs.

At the time, many fans saw Stubbs’ signing a strange one, given we had already signing Ciaran Kelly, who with hindsight, was probably recruited as one for the future. Stubbs also arrived with question marks about his fitness, with Exeter fans claiming he is unable to stay fit albeit he’s an excellent defender when he plays. This was something Stubbs himself denied, claiming he’d been ready to play all season. It seems he was right – as since he managed to break up the defensive duo of Platt and Crichlow he hasn’t missed a game and has been outstanding at the back – becoming in most people’s eyes the first choice centre back.

At 24 years old and another year on his contract, Stubbs is sure to be a key figure in the defence again next season. Who he partners is not yet certain. Platt and Stubbs did form a solid partnership before the former’s red card away at Crawley on Good Friday. However not having a natural left sided centre back or ball playing centre half did unbalance us a little bit and it likely that another centre back (maybe one with a bit more experience would stop us from shipping so many late goals) will come in during the summer to compete for the two spots. 

After our failure to get promoted, it’s hard to imagine Crichlow signing permanently – although I’m sure the club would love to make it happen. It seems even more unlikely given his tweet after the game however which perhaps read like his time at the club had come to an end. 

Timmy Odusina and Ciaran Kelly are both under contract. But if another centre back is signed it is likely that at least one of these two will leave the club – whether that be permanently or on loan. 

Full backs

The full backs this season seem to have split supporter opinion. Brad Halliday has played almost all of the season at right back and has had a small number of critics within the fanbase. However, on the whole, I am sure most fans would be happy to see him retain his position as first choice right back next season – particularly now we are staying in League Two.

Halliday does seem to have a few moments of madness – but overall is a solid, fairly consistent right back for this level.

Although Luke Hendrie is under contract for another season, he will surely be looking to move on given his lack of game time and will have suitors from teams in League Two or the National League given he is a fairly solid, reliable right back in his own right.

Finn Cousin Dawson has become somewhat of a forgotten man. He has spent the majority of the season out on loan and it’s hard to imagine him making his way back into Mark Hughes’ plans next season, even if a back-up right back slot does become available in the squad. Another year out on loan is the most likely outcome. Oscar Threlkeld will move on after a truly woeful two-year spell at the club.

At left back, Matty Foulds played the majority of the first half of the season given the injury to Liam Ridehalgh. He again split opinion. He had a great spell over winter and even had his own chant belted out in the away ends. He was solid and played with pride for the badge being a Bradford lad – and this is something I and many others could relate to.

However, some supporters deemed him to be limited going forward and given our problems on the left wing (we’ll get on to that later) Mark Hughes found it necessary to sign a more attack minded left back in…. Tolaji Bola. Hmmm. Great in theory, in reality this can surely only be reflected upon as a mistake. 

With Foulds surplus to requirements he went out on loan to Harrogate where he continued to play regularly. It’s hard to imagine him coming back next season and being undoubted first choice, but I personally would love to see him return and offer competition to another left back in the squad.

Whether that other left back is Ridehalgh is questionable. He has been fairly solid since his return from injury but is that enough? On the whole, I think we need a lot more from our left back and this is certainly one area of the field I think needs addressing in the summer. Given Ridehalgh is out of contract, I would be surprised if he isn’t looking for a new club and if City aren’t unveiling a new left back in the summer. 

Central midfield

This area of the field, for me, is one of the key areas to be addressed in the summer. All season long, we have lacked authority in this area and ultimately it cost us.

Richie Smallwood has had an up and down season but vastly improved in the second half of it, particularly since the arrival of Adam Clayton. Smallwood will surely be in the first team again next season, and will hopefully improve again as he fully acclimatises to the club and the division – maybe he’ll benefit from a fresh face alongside him.

Alex Gilliead is another to split opinion. His desire, endeavour, work ethic and newly found leadership qualities cannot be questioned, but he does have limitations to his play. His goal and assist record is questionable for a player who – although he has played in a deeper lying two in midfield for large parts of the season – has been given licence to roam with Smallwood and Clayton sitting in behind.

Gilliead is out of contract and I think will be someone the club look to keep on, but perhaps moving forward he will not be a guaranteed starter and no longer one of the first names on the team sheet like he has this year.

Adam Clayton is another out of contract and has played a big part since signing in January. Overall, his signing has been a success given January is a difficult window to really improve the squad and he has added something that was missing in the first half of the season. However, he is clearly ageing and slowing down. Towards the end of the season, it has become more obvious to see why Doncaster fans weren’t too upset to see him leave.

A midfield three of Smallwood, Gilliead and Clayton just isn’t enough, and if a fresh face is to brought in to the midfield then surely Clayton will be the one to be moved out.

Finally, Ryan East. A player who I personally believe has been unlucky to not get more game time this season, especially with his ball playing abilities aligning with Hughes’ early season philosophy of getting the ball down and playing at all costs.

East seems a great person to have around and has been useful when called upon at times this season. I would be tempted to have him around the squad again next season, although as mentioned previously with other players, it would be understandable if he wanted to look elsewhere for more game time.

One centre midfielder is sure to sign in the summer and I think Hughes will be looking to find a younger, ball playing midfielder. Elliot Watt has probably proved to be a bigger miss than we first anticipated, as a player of his type would have been pivotal at times this season – nowhere more so than at Carlisle on Saturday when ball retention was something we struggled with. Owen Moxon, on the opposition team sheet Saturday, is the style of player City should be looking to sign this summer. 

Wingers/attacking midfielders

We’ll start with the attacking midfielders. Jamie Walker is surely a player we will try and build the team around again next season given his undoubted qualities and the fact he is under contract. It’s been a hit and miss season for the Scotsman, but if he can be kept fit is an excellent player to have at your disposal at this level.

Emmanuel Osadebe has had a torrid season, breaking his leg on the first day. Since returning from injury, he has been poor. This could be a case of him getting used to playing again, and building up his fitness and confidence after the injury, but if we are solely judging him on his performances then he is someone I personally would be looking to move on in the summer.

Harsh? Maybe. But if are wanting to push on again next season for the top three Osadebe doesn’t strike me as the type of player who will get us there.

Kian Scales has spent the majority of the season out on loan and by all accounts has played well – albeit at a lower level. The only argument for him getting a new contract is him fulfilling the rule of having one club developed player in your match day squad which I think I am right in saying will apply to City next season. 

Improving the wide positions in our team is going to be a huge area for our recruitment team to focus on in the summer. Many of our current wide players are on loan and unlikely to remain next season.

If Walker can stay fit, Harry Chapman, who is the only wide player from the current squad likely to be around next season, may get more game time in his favoured left wing position. Chapman has great quality and has been massively missed in the final period of the season. And his injury at Swindon ultimately played a huge part in our failure to get promoted.

Thierry Nevers and Dara Costelloe deputised, looking like they had the weight of the world on their shoulders. And by the end of it, they seemed incapable of doing the most simplest things which you’d expect a footballer to be able to do. I’m sure they’ll be glad to get back to their parent clubs and look elsewhere for a club in the summer. Osadebe also featured on the left wing but doesn’t look like a natural wide player.

Abo Eisa is another who has had a terrible time with injuries whilst at the club and, when has been fit, doesn’t look the same player we signed from Scunthorpe two years ago. He will be surely looking elsewhere for a club in the summer.

Dion Periera has been a mystery. So much excitement surrounded his signing in the summer, but he has failed to live up to expectations, although in the second half of the season he has had more or less no opportunities which is somewhat surprising given our problems on the left wing.

Pereira isn’t completely blameless though; it is easy to forget he had a good run of games when he initially signed and his performances simply weren’t good enough. Sometimes when players are out of the team, it’s easy to forget what they did to fall out of the team in the first place.

Jake Young will be back in pre season, at least to start with – and he still has two years left on his contract. Young could argue he was treated harshly during his time before being sent out on loan. He did put in some questionable performances (Colchester away and Tranmere away being the standouts) but did manage to score four goals in a limited amount of appearances.

Given the inconsistencies of the majority of the other wide players in the squad, who contributed a lot less between them than Young, maybe he should have been given more benefit of the doubt for his bad performances. Especially since goals around the squad have been hard to come by and as our season petered out, a left winger capable of moments of magic to call upon from the bench would have been a dream.

Whether Young can come back into the fold is something only Hughes can answer, as the relationship between the two might be damaged. Tyreik Wright is another wide player who has been sorely missed in the second half of the season. I’m almost certain our season would have ended differently if we had managed to keep hold of him in January.

Finally, Scott Banks has been a pleasure to watch this season. He is a constant threat and plays with a smile on his face – he has clearly relished playing in front of big crowds which many players at this level struggle to cope with. Aside to the obvious, a disappointing thing about missing out on promotion is losing a player like Banks, who surely won’t be playing in League Two next season.

This is a similar feeling to when we lost to Millwall in the semi finals in 2016, knowing Reece Burke would not be returning or when we lost to Millwall at Wembley in 2017, watching Josh Cullen wave his goodbyes from the middle of a pitch invasion as he headed to the Championship. At least two wide players, more likely three, will need to be signed this summer. Given the inconsistencies of the loan players it may be beneficial for at least one or two of those to be permanent signings. 


Andy Cook has been absolutely outstanding – it doesn’t bare thinking about how this season would have panned out without his 31 goals. He is at the age now where this will be his last huge contract. And although I’m sure he would love to stay at the club, he has to be smart.

If a League One club comes in for him, this might be his last chance to play at a higher level. Alternatively, even a League Two club could offer him a longer term contract on potentially more money. Imagine seeing Andy Cook score 20+ goals for another team in League Two next season? Surely the club can’t allow that to happen.

Elsewhere, Vadaine Oliver has two years left on his contract, but is unlikely to want to play second fiddle to Andy Cook, or another striker, again. Due to his awkward style of play, there will surely be clubs looking for that type of player who are happy to take over his contract. I have a feeling he’ll be playing elsewhere in League Two next season.

Matty Derbyshire was signed in January on an 18-month contract and has produced some key moments: assisting Andy Cook’s winner against Grimsby, scoring away at Stevenage in a crucial win at the time and of course his equaliser against Carlisle could have been an iconic moment in our history – had we bothered to defend our penalty area for the subsequent final 10 minutes.

Whether Cook signs or not, at least one other forward is sure to sign in the summer. One thing City have lacked up top is pace in behind, and any supporter who was at Crewe away recently is probably thinking of the same name when thinking about which player they’d like to sign of that ilk

The manager

Mark Hughes has done a lot of good things in his year and a half in charge of City. His main success is bringing the fans closer to the club and team again – there has been a real connection with supporters, and our home and away attendances have been outstanding. We’ve deserved a better outcome to the season. 

Of course, progress has also been made in our final league position, finishing in the play offs for the first time since our return to League Two. However, we have ultimately fallen short in our ambitions of promotion whilst other clubs who appointed managers at a similar time to ourselves have flown ahead.

Because of the state of the squad when Hughes arrived, because of the disconnect between the club and the fans, and because of his reputation, Hughes has been deservedly afforded the benefit of the doubt when things have gone wrong at times. I get the impression this will not be the case next season.

Hughes now knows the division, knows the club, will have his own squad of players, has had the experience of just falling short and therefore – as long as he is backed by the club – will have no excuses if promotion is not achieved again next season.


For most of the season, Hughes has deployed a philosophy of playing out from the back which can be applauded. However, during the winter period, teams seemed to have figured us out and the manager switched to being more direct at times. He still encouraged his teams to play, but only when safe to do so.

If Hughes is to deploy this similar style again, we could do with recruiting players specifically for this brand of football. Because at times this season, it has appeared we’ve asked players to do things they’re not used to – or comfortable with. Deciding on a formation and style of play before the recruitment process starts will be key.

Categories: Opinion


23 replies

  1. It’s depressing that we ended the season with a worse squad than we started
    Wright, Angol, Sutton all better players than we got in
    We have to get some Lacey goal scorers to get the crowd going
    And please no more midfield threesome of gillead Smallwood and Clayton
    They all have something to offer but not all together

  2. The curtain has come down on the season and we now turn our attention to what goes on behind the scenes before it comes up again. If I’m being honest my current thoughts are still on what’s just happened. And if I am to be truly ruthlessly honest I have to fess up that my immediate reaction to the substitution of Banks was not one of surprise or outright condemnation. It was late in the match, we were exhausted and had just expended an enormous amount of energy getting back level. My immediate thought was Songo’o would have been a better bet than Platt – if he had still been with us. (Personally in these situations I prefer beefing up the midfield to inviting pressure onto the backline.) Going for a penalty shootout is seen as a legitimate tactic in the modern game – applauded when successful. Employing it is the mark of a manager who fears his side is – or has become – inferior to the opposition and the best chance of winning is in the randomness of the lottery. Frankly what does surprise me is the amount of people who have expressed disbelief at the substitution, as though it were some kind of inexplicable brainstorm. It was a calculated gamble that did not pay off. Had it done and we were on our way to Wembley, it would be being lauded as a master stroke by members of “Mark Hughes’ Bradford Army”! Such is football: such is life! So now we must turn our attention to building a squad for automatic promotion. Until we’ve seen the retained list, it’s difficult to speculate further.

    • I agree. I was, like pretty much everyone else, disappointed at the Banks-Platt sub. However, on reflection, I think MH may have felt we were lucky to get back on level terms and the odds were against us going on to win it and more likely CU would given how poorly we were playing. So he decided pens were a good option once we got back level. Not saying MH got the call right, but I don’t think it was as illogical as I first thought it was.

      • I think you make a valid point, Dan. It might not have been as counter-intuitive as many have routinely assumed. The abuse – elsewhere – that Hughes has suffered makes me want to stick up for him. I remember Dalgleish doing something similar and using the back three as a base to throw the kitchen sink
        from at the opposition.

  3. Anybody really think during this season that City would get automatic promotion? Mostly staying in the playoff spots was getting to be a big ask. Strange team selections ,negative tactics and the inevitable late goals conceded have made it a tough watch at times. When they did come up trumps VP was a great place to be. If this club could actually get some real success the place would take off. What happens next is again crucial…. here’s hoping…..again.

    • I believe like many that substituting Banks for Platt was one of the worse decisions made this season. He may have been tired but so we’re others. Carlisle were watchful of Banks (to be honest the only threat we had). This decision was definitely down to Hughes game managent that went totally wrong. The current squad is not good enough moving forward. The question we need to ask, has Hughes and Gent have the guile to rebuild a squad not to get to the playoffs but to go up automatically. The former. I don’t have the emotional strength to cope with.

    • I think there was a moment of legitimate credibility to the possibility we could maintain an excellent run of form that ran from February into April. At a certain point we were top of the divisions from table looking back at the last 6,8,and 10 games. We had one game in hand on almost all our rivals in the top end. So yes I think at that point we could realistically consider a top three spot. I think it always relied upon two things though. 1) being able to maintain our form. Which we quite clearly did not. And 2) at least one other side slipping up. They didn’t really. Stevenage wobbled but then found another gear with 4/5 games to go. Similarly Northampton.

  4. I was shocked at the Banks substitution at the time, mumbling in an otherwise room at an unresponsive tv. However, on reflection, there did seem to be good reason to tighten our wobbly defence. Halliday had had a shocking match and was being targeted with cross field passes to Edmonson. Thus, trying to counter that high ball threat with Platt was definitely an option, albeit one that didn’t work. Unfortunately, that weakness at right back has persisted all season. Time after time teams have seen we are vulnerable to the high, diagonal cross . We seem neither capable of cutting it out at source not good at getting it away. Thus, as stated in the article, Lewis/ A.N Other will have to become better at commanding the area; we need to be stronger defensively at right back and have a left-sided player who prevents players crossing at will from just inside our half. Wright did that but no-one after he left. That basic application and lack of pace has been a problem all season.

  5. Overall I think there been two key failings this season;
    1. Our home form has been mediocre at best. We need to drastically improve this if we have any chance of success next season.
    2. The lack of goals. Cook has been outstanding this season but when he wasn’t scoring, the team wasn’t scoring. We need to improve this especially if Cook moves on in the summer.

  6. In the build up to Saturday’s match I messaged my son and my brother as they turned on their televisions and prepared to watch proceedings. what I said was:-
    If City go up this season, this will be the poorest promoted City side since 1976.
    I know that this will upset some City fans but I stand by every word. Apart from Cook, Lewis and possibly Walker I wouldn’t be particularly sad to see any of the players leave.
    Fans are fond of using the 2012-13 team as a yardstick. Cook and Lewis might force their way into that team with Walker on the bench. that was a stronger fourth tier, this season’s hasn’t been a particularly strong second division as City finished sixth.

    • I agree. I don’t span as many years watching city. But I’ve said very similar things to my friends. This side isn’t that good to watch. But I would take promotion through attrition any day of the week. It’s a means to other ends at this end of the pyramid.
      We were very close but ran out of steam. I’ll try get the stats that spring to mind but we were in a really good position at one point. 15th April. We were top of the form table looking back 10 games. W5 D5 L0. Had we carried that forward say getting 13 points out of the last 5 games (we beat Northampton and let’s be honest Swindon gillingham and Crewe we’re all games we should have won) instead of 5 from the possible 15 well we know where we’d be.

    • I agree Paul. Quite an ordinary squad of players playing some quite ordinary football. I made the comment earlier in the season that if we do scrape promotion, it will be the most boring promotion season I’ve witnessed. I wouldn’t have been complaining if it happened, but it hasn’t been pretty.

      The only comment I would make on the article is that I don’t see a good argument for keeping Gilliead, based on his rumoured wages. I like him, he puts a good shift in, but it doesn’t seem too much of a stretch to suggest we can find an equally committed natural midfielder, with the odd goal in him, on a much more reasonable salary.

  7. We have got what we deserve this season NOTHING due to negative tactics set up and how people can say club / fans relations in the top 2 along with Hull is a joke tell that to all long term season ticket holders who can’t get tickets to away games and the supporters who were kicked out of their seats for the home Carlisle game rant over

    • If you’d been to a reasonable number of away games you would have got tickets
      The system isn’t perfect but it’s better than Fleetwood 6 years ago

      • Reckon this is a fair analysis, and although Sparky made the odd tactical mis-step he’s shown more than enough to deserve another run at it. But a couple of (tangentially) related things…
        First, my impression is we underspent this season – there were a lot of loans and free transfers. I think possibly the idea was to get as close as we could on a lower budget, in order to build a war chest for the second season.
        Second, I think our best signing this year has been Stephen Gent. Apart from Harratt and Oliver (possibly not his fault), our new players have been decent. Very decent. It’ll be interesting to see what summer brings.
        Lastly, I also think there are signs the owners have a little more ambition than we give them credit for.

  8. Ironically Vadaine would have been a decent option in the final weeks of the run in as Hughes mixed it up a bit more. If he is to stay the direct option needs to be utilised when required

  9. I think you rightly identify the key point-choosing players that fit the system you want to play, or vice versa.

    My only real beef with Mark Hughes (apart from the infamous Banks-for-Platt switch-surely the worst substitution since spam) is that he let Callum Cooke go.

    Hughes wanted City to play possession-based football, but got rid of his best player in that regard. One of the players (I can’t remember who) said Cooke had the best ‘ball retention’ in the squad. He also had one of the highest assist records in the division. When City failed to find that killer pass, again and again and again, I for one found myself pining for Cooke…

    I know many disagree and there’s no use crying over milk spilt many months ago. But imagine a team with Cooke AND Walker and a pacy striker making mazy runs. Hughes might have got the beautiful-game Bradford City he wanted after all. It could have worked, even at this level, had the players been better suited to it.

    So it’s decision time for Mark Hughes. Does he aim at a modified version of his original vision? Or does he build a team round his star man, Andy Cook, play a simpler brand of football, and hope that the goals continue to fly in?

    I suspect this is a bit of a freak season for Cook, who is a confidence player and has been flying all year. Love the man but as a manager surely it’s too risky to pin all your hopes on him.

    I expect a pacy skilful striker to arrive in the summer. And I hope for a midfield maestro too!

  10. Totally agree with the point about Elliott Watt. I was disappointed at the time when he opted for Salford. In retrospect, it looks a big miss. He was playing so well at the end of last season and it looked like Hughes was all set to build a midfield around him if he’d stayed. I think he would have been the perfect partner to bring out the best in Richie Smallwood too. East was touted as the Watt replacement in the Summer, but we don’t really know if he’s up to it because he just hasn’t been given a chance to show what he can do.

    Also agree that Costelloe and Nevers made no impact. I can’t imagine Jake Young would have done worse if he’d still been available for us to select. At least he’s our own player and would be getting experience in big games, instead of giving it to loan players we’ll not see again.

  11. As pointed out in your final paras deciding tactics would seem to be the thing that needs to come first. No point signing decent players and then asking them to play out of position. Key issues for me are how we breakdown teams at home and also having a plan B (and C) to switch to when A isn’t working. So looking to build in a level of versatility. As always an interesting (and hopefully exciting) summer ahead. Think we need a couple of really decent signings early so we can start to look forward to next season.

  12. It seems to have become the recieved wisdom that we’ve recruited well since Gent came in but I think in this case we’re confusing ‘better’ with ‘good’ (and it could hardly have been much worse than what went before). On purely weighted numbers, it was a real mixed bag.

    There also appears to me to be a disconnect between the players recruited and the ones Hughes wanted to use. Harratt, Young, Oliver, East, Odusina will all feel they should have got more game time. With some of them, you couldn’t escape the impression that Hughes just didn’t want to play them. Oliver didn’t suit the style of play that Hughes wanted to play, to the extent that you wondered if anyone had scouted him before signing him, and I just can’t see him being here in August. Ironically he would have come in really handy in the run-in if he’d been fit.

    We didn’t stay down because of our left back, but letting Foulds go out on loan in January because we brought in an injury prone loan left back to replace him was bad business (I think Foulds would have kept Ridehalgh out of the team). I think Hughes/Gent basically wanted a winger at left back, to help solve our attacking weakness on that side, but they didn’t sign the right player.

    If we’d had one additional good attacking player (Wright, basically, but I’d have also taken Young) then that might have made the difference in some of the tight games in the last third of the season. In the end we were stuck with the three young loanees, plus Eisa and Osadebe, as we scrabbled about for someone for the left side once Chapman got injured. In the end it allowed Hughes to play his favourite five in midfield, but that midfield was imbalanced as it relied too much on Banks alone to do the forward running. An insight from the Banks-Platt substitution being that there wasn’t anyone who Hughes had faith in to positively change the game other than Derbyshire (he signed Periera/Nevers/Costelloe and he didn’t trust any of them).

    It’s wishful thinking to imagine that Critchlow or Banks will be back but I haven’t given up hope of keeping Cook. Gillead may come down to money (I’ve heard he’s one of the higher paid). But for next season we need quality over quantity. A starting left back, a more suited midfield partner for Smallwood, someone who can deliver set pieces, and goals to either replace or complement Cook. We need to work out why Walker is in the team; is he there for goals and assists or is he there to be a more advanced central midfielder? We need to work a balanced system where we have a bit of width and pace, allowing players to get close to our number 9 and into the box, but that doesn’t get overrun in midfield. If 4-2-3-1 is that system then let’s get the right type of players to play like that.

    Hopefully Hughes has learnt a bit more about the division and how to get out of it, and Gent will have learned which type of players Hughes wants for the system he wants to play.

  13. Personally, I’m quite shocked at how poor Hughes was tactically speaking. This was the first season in recent memory where City were blessed with a very good choice by L2 standards in wingers. Yet they were generally underutilized in favour of 3 holding midfielders and playing narrow. In addition, a manager with Hughes footballing background shouldn’t have been struggling to adapt to L2 football for an entire season.

  14. Brilliant insight as ever.
    We absolutely need to refresh our central midfield and wingers. There was a gulf between us and Leyton Orient. Their midfielders were always on the half turn looking for options on the wing or full-backs pushing up. Our just knock the ball back to defence and possession football leading to nothing. So frustrating.
    Minor point – we also need to improve on our throw-ins. Never seen a team who loses possession so frequently from them – even just a simple throw. Combination of poor first touch and lack of moment.

  15. Macauley Langstaff is the striker we need but reportedly Notts County will ask for £1 million or more for his services and league one and championship clubs interested so he might be out of range for us.

    Dan Agyei is definitely the type of striker that would suit us but he’s been around for a while in league one and two and hasn’t done much up until this season so it’s a worry he might be a one season wonder, or he might just be hitting his prime?

    Need to get Owen Moxon signed up at all costs if we can. He looks like the type of midfielder we need to play alongside Smallwood and can take over set piece duties.

    I’m sure if we can keep the bulk of this squad together and add to it with a couple of quality signings, we will have a better season next time out. Keep the faith bantams fans.


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