McCALL’S CHARGE HAS HEAD OF STEAM
STUART McCall has called on Bradford to carry their excellent form into Monday’s trip to Bramall Lane to take on table-topping Sheffield United after seeing off Oxford.
The Bantams have been in great shape as they head towards their play-off campaign, winning six of their last eight games and eliminating the too-frequent draws that have cost them a shot at automatic promotion.
One such game was a thrilling 3-3 draw with Sheffueld United in October, and McCall is hoping his side will go one better at Bramall Lane.
The Bantams boss said: “You don’t like looking back but it’s just a shame that we didn’t have that habit earlier on in the season, when we were playing really, really well but getting points.
“Now we’re playing fine and they’re tight games, but we’re getting three points.
“That’s four home games on the bounce that we’ve won. Again, I’m not one for looking back but there’s a lot of points we’ve let slip by drawing too many games.
“But we’re in good form, certainly results wise, and have a third clean sheet on the bounce.
“We know we go to a really difficult venue on Monday, but if you’re in football to enjoy it, you’ve got to be looking forward to Monday at Bramall Lane.“
Bradford striker Jordy Hiwula was given a couple of really good opportunities for City, but he was unable to do anything with either of Charlie Wyke’s two excellent first-half through balls. Both Charlie Raglan and John Lundstram threatened to put Bradford’s home unbeaten run at risk of ending at 28 games, with both putting decent chances wide of the post for Oxford.
City gave themselves breathing space as they looked to keep that record going, with Nicky Law poking in Wyke’s knockdown off a pinpoint cross from Mark Marshall, who was fantastic throughout both on and off the ball.
Tony McMahon had to be alert two minutes later as Joe Rothwell threatened to go clear through on goal, getting back superbly to block the winger’s shot.
Wyke’s volley tested Simon Eastwood at the other end, and the goalkeeping exhibition continued as Colin Doyle made two wonderful stops to deny Oxford striker Conor McAleny late on.
Oxford manager Michael Appleton said: “I think it’s been, as daft as it sounds, a perfect away performance. I thought we controlled long periods of the game.
“We move on and we move on pretty quickly. I think the players are at that stage now where there’s a realisation of what we’ve got to do between now and the end of the season, being professional.
“Other sides will be fighting like their lives depend on it for points and people will be expecting us to make sure we put in performances like we have done here. As long as we do that, we’ll be happy.”
PUT IT THERE: Nicky Law celebrates scoring for Bradford. INSET: Oxford United’s Conor McAleny shoots STAR MAN MARK MARSHALL Bradford