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Club News


20 October 2016

Club News


20 October 2016

Bantams boss Stuart McCall has acknowledged the size of the task facing his side this Saturday - but he still reckons City will be more than up for the challenge.

McCall's men welcome in-form Sheffield United to the Northern Commercials Stadium this Saturday afternoon in an eagerly-anticipated Yorkshire derby.

Sitting one point behind City in fourth and with a game in hand, United will come into this weekend's encounter unbeaten in their last nine league matches.

Managed by Chris Wilder - a one-time City player - the Blades have won seven of those nine fixtures, including their last two by an aggregate score of seven goals to nil.

McCall, who ended his playing days and started his coaching career at Bramall Lane, says he isn't surprised at all by United's current success but he feels his players will relish the occasion in front of an expected bumper Valley Parade crowd.

McCall said: "I had five fantastic years with Sheffield United and a lot of success during my time there.

"I had a great relationship with the supporters and the staff there. 

"Chris has them playing very well at the moment. I remember watching their game at Gillingham earlier in the season when Billy Sharp scored an injury time penalty and thinking that might be a turning point for them.

"It certainly seems that way.

"They have plenty of quality and experience within their squad and it is no surprise that they are pushing up towards the top end of the table.

"Like ourselves, Sheffield United have a good away support, so it should be a fantastic atmosphere around the ground come Saturday.

"It should also be a fantastic game as well. I know all of the lads will be looking forward to it.

"It is one of those games that if you aren't excited by the thought of playing in it, you probably shouldn't be in football!

"Given their (Sheffield United) form at the moment, we perhaps go into this game as slight under-dogs for the first time this season, certainly at home.

"Regardless of that though, I know all of our players will be excited by this occasion and eager to get out there.

"We will need to have a confidence and a belief, which we will, that we can match them and beat them.

"There is certainly no inferiority complex - we just know we must be more consistent in games and take our chances better during periods of dominance."
Marc McNulty opened his account for City during Tuesday night's draw with Southend but McCall has confirmed that the striker, who is on loan from Sheffield United, won't be given the chance to try and add to his tally on Saturday.

McCall added: "It was great to see Marc get his goal on Tuesday. It is just a shame for the lad that he can't play on Saturday. 

"We totally understand Sheffield United's decision not to allow him to play though - we would have done exactly the same.

"I'm sure Marc would have been keen to kick on after scoring on Tuesday. It is just unfortunate that our very next game is against his parent club.

"I'm confident there will be plenty of other opportunities for Marc in the coming weeks and months though."

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