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MIXED EMOTIONS FOR McCALL AFTER CHARLTON DRAW

10 December 2016

Bantams boss Stuart McCall admitted to some mixed emotions after City's entertaining, but goalless, draw with Charlton Athletic at the Northern Commercials Stadium.

Charlton could have easily taken the lead during a purple patch for the visitors in the first period - the impressive Josh Magennis hitting the post in the thirteenth minute before seeing a shot cleared off the line by Stephen Darby just seven minutes later.

City fought back later in the half though, Jordy Hiwula being denied by Charlton 'keeper Dillon Phillips when played through one-on-one by Nicky Law. 

Looking for the break-through after the restart, the Bantams created most of the scoring chances, with Hiwula going close on three separate occasions, but Charlton, who finished the game with ten men following Patrick Bauer's injury time red card, hung on for a point.

Speaking after the goalless draw, McCall admits he was frustrated not to see City secure the win on home soil but he still felt positive about his side's general performance against a talented Charlton team. 

McCall said: "We played Sheffield United a couple of months ago in a game that ended 3-3 - this one could have been similar on another day.

"Charlton are a really good side, they have under-achieved with the squad they have. I have no doubt they'll be challenging for a top six spot come the end of the season.

"I felt we started well enough for the first five minutes or so, played at a good tempo, and they have come into the game and we've had to ride our luck for fifteen-twenty minutes or so.

"They have had one off the post and then one off the line, but we've had opportunities ourselves later in the half.

"As strong as they were in that period, we were still getting away and making chances which gave us great belief going into the second period.

"After half time, I felt we were the stronger side and we carried the greater threat but you always had to be wary with the attacking players they have in their side.

"We knew we would have to be strong defensively. We probably took a couple of chances in the first half trying to play out from the back but we were stronger in the second half and we pushed.

"I enjoyed the game, it was entertaining, and we played a part in that. We looked like we could get a goal today (Saturday).

"We've got crosses in, had shots just wide and also made their 'keeper make some saves.

"Overall, we've not scored and we've not won at home so we have to be disappointed with that but the general performance was pleasing."

Mark Marshall limped off towards the end of the match but McCall is hopeful the issue isn't too serious for the Bantams winger.

McCall added: "He got a dead leg about fifteen minutes prior to that (being substituted), and then he got a knock on his calf.

"We hope it isn't too major.

"Nicky Law had a slight strain at half time but he wanted to stay on.

"Matthew Kilgallon got a dead leg in training but he will be back training next week so it is really just Billy Clarke that is the one we are waiting to be fit."

 

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