Seasons Preview - Bradford City's View

Last updated : 09 August 2004 By Andy Burton
1. How did you fare last season? Best moment, worst moment etc.
Needless to say, going down was tough but at least it put us out of our misery after the writing had been on the wall for weeks.

Off the pitch, things were even worse. Our chairman Gordon Gibb left the club last January and then, one month later, City found themselves back in administration -- for the second time in two years. We never recovered from that bombshell and the fall out effectively killed off our season.

It wasn't all doom and gloom, though. The Bantams actually pulled off one of the best results of the season, beating league leaders Norwich City 1-0 at Carrow Road thanks to a goal from Alun Armstrong. But the game that really stood out for me was 3-2 win at home to Millwall on November 29. Not only were we before the cameras but more importantly it also signalled the arrival of new boss Bryan Robson.

Trailing 2-0, City were staring at their fourteenth game without a win. The odds were stacked against us. But out of nothing, we staged a stirring fightback to take the points.

That night promised so much for those who thought the former England international was the man to revive our fortunes. He made an immediate impact and gave us hope. Sadly, it did not work out and Robson decided to walk away after only six months in charge.

2. How do you think you'll do this season? Hopes, final position.
It's very difficult to say having lost so many players during the summer. My guess is that we may need some time to find our feet but I'm confident City are good enough to stay up and push for the play-offs.

3. What's your squad like, new signings, etc?
Thankfully, we've still got plenty of experience running down the spine of the team. David Wetherall, Peter Atherton, Wayne Jacobs, Dean Windass and Nicky Summerbee may be past their best but they've still got what it takes at this level to spearhead a successful campaign.

On the transfer front, the manager has been busy trying to beef up his squad which was so small at one point we did not even have a goalkeeper.

New recruits Donovan Ricketts and Paul Henderson are the main contenders who will slug it out for the number one spot. Darren Holloway and Lee Crooks have also been added to the ranks, giving Todd options in defence and midfield while Michael Symes and Steven Schumacher are two fresh faces with enough ability to unlock the opposition.

4. Which youngster will make the biggest impression in your team this season?
Striker Danny Forrest could be a real asset for us. He's quick, raw and has an eye for goal, provided he's firing on all cylinders.

5. What's your manager like and will he still be there at the end of the season?
Colin Todd could be City's best appointment for some time. He has managed the likes of Middlesbrough and Bolton Wanderers, so he's under no illusions about the job in hand. He knows the score. The players respect him and I'm sure he'll bring out the best in them with Bobby Davison as his right hand man.

Both men could be just what we need in the dug out to help us find the winning formula.

I expect Todd to stay at City for at least one season but in this business you just never know.

6. Are you happy with your chairman/Backroom staff?
You need nerves of steel to work at Bradford City - just ask the staff. With the club fighting for its life last month, they offered their support by agreeing to defer their wages.

Former chief executive Julian Rhodes has also been a tower of strength along with a group of Bradford businessmen, who are working together to solve the financial crisis and pull City out of administration.

All the above deserve credit, but they're not the only ones. Our fans have been absolutely magnificent in helping to raise a quarter of a million pounds after a local newspaper launched the Save Our City Appeal nearly three months ago.

7. Which team do you want to beat the most and why?
There can be only one team and it sticks out like a sore thumb. Playing Huddersfield again after a few years should spice things up a bit. We'd love to beat them and I bet they feel exactly the same way about us.

8. Predict your champions and runner-up, the 4 play-off teams and the 4 to go down.
Like most people, I am tipping Bristol City to go up as champions with Sheffield Wednesday taking second spot.
The play-off spots are really up for grabs. Several teams are quite capable of finishing in the top six. They include Hull City, Tranmere, Blackpool, and, with a bit of luck, Bradford City.
MK Dons, Oldham, Chesterfield, and Torquay United won't be so lucky. I expect them to fall through the relegation trap door.

9. What is the address of your site?