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17 July 2017



17 July 2017

Bantams boss Stuart McCall says he will use a busy week of matches as an opportunity to step up the game-time for his squad.

After arriving back into the country on Sunday following their time in Austria and Germany, McCall's men will now play friendlies against Guiseley (Tuesday) and Eccleshill United (Wednesday) within the space of twenty-four hours.

McCall has revealed that the plan is to split the squad across the two games, allowing more of his players to get more match minutes under their belts.

So far, McCall has given the vast majority of his group 45 minutes each against both Bradford Park Avenue and TV Echterdingen.

The City chief believes now is the time to step that up, with the aim being to give some of his players 75 to 90 minutes against either Guiseley or Eccleshill.

Following the mid-week double-header against local non-league opposition, McCall's side will then finish the week with a behind-closed-doors friendly on Friday and a return to the Northern Commercials Stadium against Sunderland on Saturday.

McCall said: "We have a busy week this week.

"Games on Tuesday and Wednesday, a behind-closed-doors game on the Friday, and then the game on Saturday.

"The lads have two sets of 45 (minutes) in them, we now have to be looking at getting them 75 minutes or even the full match over these next couple of games.

"We will split squads (for Tuesday and Wednesday). I don't think you could tell which was the stronger really looking at them on paper.

"Depending on how things go, the aim is to give those playing either Tuesday or Wednesday at least 70 or so minutes, and maybe even the full game.

"We want to follow on from a good week in Austria and Germany. It is time to step things up for the lads."

The Guiseley and Eccleshill games will give McCall the opportunity to check on the progress of the likes of young trio Ellis Hudson, Callum Gunner and Tyrell Robinson - all of whom stayed back in England last week.

Charlie Wyke won't play any part in either Tuesday or Wednesday night, however, as the striker continues to nurse a tight hamstring.

McCall added: "Unfortunately just purely through his desire to keep going, he (Charlie) has pushed on a bit too much in training.

"He felt his hamstring tighten during training last week but he wanted to finish the session.

"We had hoped it would have settled down over the last four days.

"We might just have to give him some extra time and look over things. He definitely won't feature on Tuesday or Wednesday.

"We will have with us some of the young lads who we didn't take away last week - they will feature in these games as well."

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