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McCALL PROUD OF HIS PLAYERS' EFFORTS

26 December 2016

Bantams boss Stuart McCall says he couldn't fault his players' efforts during City's entertaining goalless draw with Scunthorpe United on Boxing Day.

In front of the biggest crowd of the season at the Northern Commercials Stadium, McCall's men more than held their own against Scunthorpe but they couldn't quite find a way past the resilient league leaders.

McCall said: "We are disappointed that we are having to talk about another goalless home draw after the Charlton game but the effort and desire was certainly there from the lads.

"As a manager and a supporter, you ask for total commitment first and foremost. 

"We got today (Monday), and I couldn't really ask any more from the players in terms of their endeavour, work-rate and commitment from the first minute to the last.

"Against a hard-working and dangerous side, we've played ourselves into some threatening positions and forced them to defend terrifically well.

"I think we were on the front-foot for big spells of the game but they always carried a threat with the players they have in attacking areas.

"We've stopped a free-flowing Scunthorpe side from scoring but we've not been able to get that winner ourselves.

"We were pushing so many men forward - we were asking Mezza (James Meredith) to play as a left winger at times. 

"We knew they would have their moments on the break but we've defended well and been solid in the middle.

"We've drawn 0-0 today, drawn 0-0 with Bolton, drawn 3-3 with Sheffield United, beat Rochdale and beat Peterborough. Halfway through the season now, we continue to be competitive in virtually every game.

"This group are giving us absolutely everything they've got and that is all we can ask for."

Tony McMahon and Filipe Morais were recalled for the visit of Scunthorpe, the duo replacing Stephen Darby and Jordy Hiwula in the side from the team that began at Walsall last time out.

With Hiwula out of the starting XI, Nicky Law was asked to play in an attacking midfield role and support main striker James Hanson.

McCall added: "We've played him (Nicky Law) there a couple of times before.

"He went close on a couple of occasions at Millwall and scored from that position against Cambridge United in the Checkatrade Trophy.

"We watched Scunthorpe's last away game and how Rochdale played against them and got a victory, and we tried to go similar to how they played.

"The key for me as well was how Filipe Morais has trained recently.

"He always trains really well but he has shown a particular desire and hunger to get hold of one of those starting berths.

"Fil just cramped up a bit towards the end. The tempo of this game was really fast, so hopefully it is just a case of his muscle tiring slightly and tightening up a bit.

"Darbs (Stephen Darby) has done nothing wrong but we just felt it was the right time to get Tony (McMahon) back in the side.

"If Tony can get back to the form he showed at the start of the season, he'll be a major asset to us.

"It was certainly a start for him today and he'll feel better for getting this match under his belt now."

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