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30 December 2017

Bantams boss Stuart McCall has sung the praises of his side after City ended their fixtures for 2017 with an entertaining 3-2 victory over Oxford United at the Northern Commercials Stadium.

A superb first half showing from McCall's men saw them go into the break in the lead thanks to Charlie Wyke's second minute opener.

Oxford equalised against the run of play at the start of the second period, but two quick-fire City goals from Shay McCartan and Timothee Dieng saw McCall's side assume control once again.

Oxford's Jon Obika pulled a goal back fifteen minutes from time, but City weren't to be denied a deserved win.

McCall said: "Some of the football we played, especially in the first half, was absolutely superb.

"If it wasn't for Simon Eastwood in the Oxford goal, we could have gone into the break much further in front.

"I am proud of the players and their efforts. We've had to dig in at the end but it would have been a travesty if we'd conceded late on.

"The performance and the result was huge for the lads, certainly after the disappointment of the Boxing Day game (vs Peterborough United).

"We should have put the game to bed at half time, and then they go and equalise shortly after the break.

"We rally, however, and get two goals in quick succession. It was a terrific reaction after being pegged back following a dominant first half.

"It was a little bit edgy in the last fifteen minutes or so when they make it 3-2, but we certainly deserved the win.

"We had a few lads playing their first game in a while, likes of Tim Dieng and Shay McCartan, so there was a bit of fatigue around at the end.

"I was delighted for those two (Tim and Shay) to come in and get their goals - there was some big performances across the team.

"With the quality of football we played, it was a great way to finish off the calendar year."

City's success over Oxford saw them get back to winning ways after two successive defeats, but they did suffer the blow of losing Wyke to a straight red card in injury time.

Wyke was given his marching orders for a tackle on Oxford defender Canice Carroll - the scorer of their first goal.

Wyke is now set to miss City's next three games - including Monday's New Year's Day fixture at Fleetwood Town.

McCall added: "He was hugely disappointed in the dressing room afterwards.

"It is a committed and tired challenge from a striker.

"It is a lunge. He's won the ball and not caught the man, but I understand why the referee has sent him off given the way Charlie has approached the tackle.

"He was desperate to win the ball but it seems he has been given the red card for the way he has gone into the tackle.

"It is definitely a blow for us and the player.

"We are a little unfortunate with injuries as well at the moment. Jake Reeves flared up a pelvic problem in training on Thursday.

"He's had another injection in the area so he will be out for around another ten days.

"Tony McMahon reported himself ill this (Saturday) morning. That adds to Colin Doyle, Adam Chicksen, Alex Jones and Dominic Poleon being out injured."

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