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McCALL | TOO EARLY FOR WYKE TO START

24 August 2017

Bantams boss Stuart McCall says it is probably too early to be thinking about including fit-again striker Charlie Wyke in his starting XI.

Wyke made a welcome return from a hamstring injury as a second half substitute in last Saturday's game with Blackburn Rovers.

The forward's involvement off the bench against Blackburn was his first action of any kind since City's opening pre-season friendly of the summer at Bradford Park Avenue back in early July.

With that in mind, McCall is wary of putting too much workload on Wyke before the frontman is fullying up to speed. 

All this means that Wyke is once again likely to be among City's substitutes for the weekend trip to Walsall.

McCall said: "We can't get too carried away.

"It was obviously great to get him back on the pitch last Saturday (vs Blackburn) - the plan was always to give him a maximum of twenty minutes.

"We wouldn't have even put him on if we didn't need to but we were one down in the game and needed a goal.

"He certainly got the crowd going and we clearly don't have another centre forward like him in the squad, but we can't deny he was blowing hard towards the end.

"He has done a lot of hard work on the training ground in recent days but we can't forget he has been out for five weeks.

"At the moment, he is probably best coming on as an impact player - drip-feeding him back in a little bit.

"It is great to have him back in the dressing room on a match-day but we have to get him up to a certain level of fitness before we can think about starting him."

Although Wyke is seemingly out of contention to start at the Banks's Stadium, McCall still has a wealth of options to choose from in attack for the Walsall game.

Alex Jones, Omari Patrick, Dominic Poleon and Shay McCartan have all started league games so far this season, while Paul Taylor and Alex Gilliead are also in the mix.

McCall added: "We have swapped things around in that attacking area.

"We've played two up front, three up front, the diamond in midfield - we have mixed and matched.

"It is still early in the season, we're looking at players and seeing which of them gel together and what their exact best position is.

"Without that target-man in the first few games, we've had to play in a different way at times.

"Three or four of the lads we have brought in (over the summer) can play in a number of positions - we still have to work out where they are most dangerous and what works and what doesn't work.

"It is still all a learning curve for us - we're looking for a strong performance from the group on Saturday."


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