Monday, 19 November 2012

At Sixes And Sevens


Six Injuries See Bantams Slip Down To Seventh

James Meredith is one of the latest casualties of the hectic midweek schedule
   After a roller coaster week, things are starting to go a little bit pear-shaped.
   Following the convincing win at Aldershot and the nail-biting triumph over Northampton, many of us were beginning to believe that the Bantams were back on the promotion chase. Indeed, City’s performance in the cup replay showed heart, spirit and determination, sealed our status as penalty kings and proved to the doubters that the Bradford boys never say die.
   Whilst the cup games are livening up proceedings somewhat, it’s difficult to ignore their effect on our promotion hopes. You can’t doubt the fact that the congestion of midweek games is crippling the team: six are already sidelined for several months, and many more are playing on injuries. Has the treatment room ever been so busy?
  And the damage is noticeable. Against Exeter, City looked like a fatigue-ridden team: the balls weren’t coming into the box as frequently, Wells was constantly rubbing his leg and the team just didn’t drive forward as much as they usually do. To make matters worse, the referee ignored Wells’ justified shout for a penalty, and refused to give the Bantams anything.
   It’s prompted a mad rush to draft in as many loan players as we can, and as quickly as we can. It’s a sad twist of fate, as the back four were beginning to look unbeatable and last season had many fans wishing that we weren’t as reliant on loan players. In the past, some talented footballers have never had a chance to make their mark on the league because their time at City has been plagued by injury: Simon Ramsden and Chris Brandon are two of the most recent examples.
   At this stage in the season, we can’t afford to be losing points and slipping down the table; we need to keep leading the back and remain hot on the heels of those above us. The Exeter defeat saw us tumble down to seventh, which is quite worrying, as it means that we’re only just in with the play off contenders.
  I’m the first to admit that it’s hard not to get caught up with the excitement surrounding City-you only have to look at my previous article to get an idea of how happy that the Arsenal draw has left me. Although the Capital One tie, the penalty record and the ecstasy of the Northampton win are all brilliant, we can’t lose focus on the League. Things do seem to be against us at the moment (This barrage of midweek fixtures is far from ideal, and, of late, the referees haven’t exactly been overly generous.), but, we’ve still got the chance to turn it around and keep in the promotion hunt.
   Let’s hope that City can get back to their winning ways soon, and that Davies, Oliver, Hines, Meredith, Reid and Ritchie Jones enjoy speedy recoveries.

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