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16 December 2017

Bantams boss Stuart McCall has hailed his side's powers of recovery and never-say-die attitude after another away-day success at Southend United this Saturday.

Charlie Wyke's ninetieth-minute penalty proved enough to claim a hard-fought 2-1 success at Roots Hall for the Bantams.

Wyke's winner came after Southend had cancelled out Dominic Poleon's early opener fifteen minutes from the end during a strong second half showing from the Shrimpers.

City's victory at Southend was their eighth win away on the road this season and the fourth win in their last five league games.

The Southend success was also the third time in recent weeks that City had come back to win after being pegged back, rekindling memories of the victories over Wigan and Rochdale for McCall.

McCall said: "This is a fantastic three-point haul for us. We knew how tough it would be to come here (Southend).

"Southend have a really good group of players, and we knew they would be fired up after a disappointing performance for them last time out (at Bristol Rovers).

"They were unbeaten at home going into today (Saturday), but we started the game well and created some early opportunities.

"We went with the same positive and attacking line up as last weekend because we felt we could get at them, which we did at times.

"Southend put us under some pressure in the second half, but they weren't really creating any clear-cut chances and we always looked a threat on the break.

"At 1-1 with fifteen minutes to go, though, we have a couple of players limping and we've made all three substitutions, so we'd probably have settled for a point at that stage.

"Having said that, the lads here never give in or settle.

"It is a bit like the Wigan match a few weeks ago, we could have claimed an away point but we've kicked on and created some good chances late on.

"I'm delighted for the players to get this win, and it is all the more special to score the winning goal in front of the away supporters and sent them home happy.

"We had it last week when we were pegged back against Rochdale and we had it here today as well - that desire, belief and commitment to go again and get the winner.

"It was good football from Lawsy (Nicky Law) for the opening goal, and it was a good forward run from him to win the penalty - a clear penalty for me, no doubts about it.

"Charlie has taken penalties before at Carlisle (United), and we left it up to Macca (Tony McMahon) and him to decide over who would take them.

"They car-share together and they will have had a discussion between themselves,

"Fair play to Tony, he has let Charlie step up and take it.

"I'm sure Charlie will have felt the nerves a bit - last minute and in front of the away fans - but he put it away well."

City's dramatic victory over Southend unfortunately wasn't completely problem-free, however.

Nathaniel Knight-Percival came off with a hamstring problem, while Wyke, Tony McMahon and Nicky Law also picked up knocks in the game.

McCall added: "Nat felt a bit of tightness in his buttock and Chris (Royston, physio) said at half-time he might be struggling.

"Nat has then felt it in the top of his hamstring in the second period, so we've taken him off.

"We are hopeful - fingers crossed - it isn't too bad for him.

"Macca rolled his ankle towards the end of the game, Charlie was on the end of a bad tackle in the first half, and Lawsy came off the pitch limping.

"We made a change at half time, bringing on Jake Reeves for Tayls (Paul Taylor) and moving Lawsy to the left.

"Tayls has been a bit under the weather recently, but we probably would have made the change anyway to give Tyrell (Robinson) a bit more support on the left.

"Killa (Matthew Kilgallon) got some cramp in the second period.

"There are a few of the group feeling it after a tough game, but claiming the three points makes everything that little bit sweeter."

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