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McCALL LOOKING FORWARD TO BURNLEY CHALLENGE

22 July 2016

Bantams boss Stuart McCall says he is looking forward to seeing how his squad cope with the challenge of facing Premier League side Burnley at Valley Parade this Saturday (23 July - kick off 3:00pm).

After returning from a six-day spell in Scotland on Friday, McCall's men will take part in their first home pre-season friendly fixture of the summer against last season's winners of the Sky Bet Championship.

For McCall, the match will be his first game back at Valley Parade since his return as manager last month but the City chief insists he is more interested in how his squad fair against their top-flight opponents.

McCall said: "It will be very special to walk out again at Valley Parade but we know Saturday's game will be a tough encounter.

"We want to give the guys some more game-time but, equally, we would like to be positive and get the lads feeling good about how they are playing.

"There were a lot of good performances at St Johnstone on Tuesday night - we know getting the win isn't the be all and end all at this stage of the season.

"Unlike Tuesday, we will probably have certain sustained periods where we don't have the ball and we have to work hard out of possession.

"It might give us the opportunity to try one or two things out with the shape a bit. 

"Burnley are a fantastic side and they have a very experienced manager in Sean Dyche. This match will be a good test for us and great preparation for the start of the season in a couple of weeks."

James Hanson and James Meredith are both expected to miss the Burnley friendly as City continue to err on the side of caution following minor injuries for the duo.

McCall continued: "They are both understandably keen to play but we really can't take a risk on anyone at this point.

"They have been working hard with Chris (Royston, Head Physio) in the pool and the gym recently, and hopefully we might have them back training after the weekend.

"I would rather be cautious now and have them miss a week of training and matches than push them and potentially put them out for three or four weeks."

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